Humana Craziness

As the exorbitant amount of time since my last post probably indicates, we’ve been very busy here at Actors Theatre.  What are we doing?  Why, gearing up for the 34th annual Humana Festival of New American Plays.  You?

For the past several weeks, we’ve had 5 – that’s right FIVE – plays rehearsing simultaneously in our cramped little building on West Main Street.  At the same time, Ella has continued to run in the Pamela Brown, and the tech staff have been hard at work building sets in our production studio and loading them in to the other two spaces.  And this morning, The Method Gun started rehearsing, bringing our total number of plays simultaneously in rehearsal to six, with one more being performed.  Can you blame us for being strangers?

I think the coolest thing about my time here, and something I hadn’t expected to enjoy so much, is that all of these plays are brand new, never been performed before now (at least, not at a theatre of this much importance).  Most of them were written within the last year; in fact, many of them are still being written and revised.  That’s right: some of these shows open in less than two weeks, yet their scripts are not yet finalized.  This healthy pressure to improve and refine has really livened up the atmosphere around here – it’s incredibly exciting to eat my lunch in the lounge and listen to a group of writers over in the corner arguing over how to exactly phrase the next line in Fissures (lost and found) so as to achieve maximum effect.  That line will be spoken by an actor in front of hundreds of people in a ridiculously short amount of time.  The excitement here is near feverish.

That’s not to say that it’s all honky-dory.  Producing a single play is hard work.  Producing six simultaneously?  I’m exhausted just from working on the Apprentice Anthology, The Heist! (that’s me on the right!), which goes up March 11th.  Getting new pages of the script everyday, then working on those lines for hours, hammering out the kinks, then starting over again the next day… The fluidity and possibilities of the process are electrifying, but it sure does sap your energy.  And next week, I begin fulfilling my duties behind the scenes as a stagehand for Ground.  I won’t be getting much rest over the next couple of months.

Anyway, just letting you all know what’s been going on around here.  You wouldn’t want all our hard work to go to waste, would you?  Of course not.  So come and see some first class theatre at the Humana Festival of New American Plays, starting soon!



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