Blog Week 3 - Homeboundby Jeannie Barroga on 03/20/12
Friday I was staying near Middlefield, last one in, first one up and out. No post-rehearsal snack, no note-sharing; Tony and I just both headed back to rest and be back in the theater by 11am. Not that it made a difference OUR getting there. Some folks were over half an hour late with rainy, sloppy weather, but still kind of annoying. Over 2 weeks' time, Tony had 'touched' pretty much every scene, enough to make Saturday's first stumble-through visual for designers. The scenes not touched, well, the actors took their best shots, so at least something played onstage. Hubby Tony and a Presidio Ranger entered to see the run-thru; he was introduced to cast members, and seemed totally into the run vs jotting notes, a good sign. Dialect coach, Selina (yay!), and of course, AD and MD also attended. So "good eyes and ears" were everywhere. Overall, the cast went into over-drive, barreling backstage to get into place, wondrous about each last scene that: hey, actually went well and hey, I think I discovered something. And there were those scenes that actors kicked themselves over, that maybe that one hadn't gone exactly as planned. They were, as I had hoped, invested, really wanting the play to work and inwardly promising themselves to try something better later. At least that's what it seemed like to me. There weren't any projections yet nor costumes, and just a few props. Having the set was a boon, just to have areas to play around in. Maurice, the lighting designer, had Tony's ear for a change while I noted script issues. There were still sections needing a lot of help and obvious blocking problems. During a monolog, one actor was in tears, never seen before, as if the words "got" to him differently this time. That actually enlightened me about the power of that scene. Near the end I heard constant sniffling behind me -- was it the play or the cast cold sneaking around? Gad, I hope not the latter. In those chaotic wrapup moments, with the cast released, and the ranger talking to an actor, and the dramaturg running changes by me, while I'm attempting to catch the Tony/Maurice notes, it was then that the play felt beyond me. It was the baby tottering on its own feet, and I could only hold out my arms and let the first steps be taken. The notes, myth monologs, etc. from Randy later were, as usual in that setting, first questioned, then in later, saner moments really absorbed. That's why he gets the big bucks, as the saying goes. The most animated exchange was about a flag and its inevitable agitation. That was also enlightening. Comments were added for other areas, music, lighting tech, props, etc. The SM had to send out the call for Monday's rehearsal, and the meeting pretty much broke up after that and a few stayed for the next meeting. That one was on past/present/future action behind the scenes, pressrelease, tix sales, weblinks, posters, PR, marketing, program notes, outreach Q&A's, etc. And future productions: as usual, a theater would benefit by having another theater out of the area pick up BUFFALO'ED, more exposure, a national connection. Without much detail, the meeting segueway'ed into discussion on my upcoming surgery with Randy, while some of the others conducted their conversations. Later, I recalled the Facebook post on the anniversary of an actor's death. She had just finished ON THE WATERFRONT; it was at the theater. I figured then how people involved would feel about that a year later with some other health incident. Sobering...sobering. So now I sit, recovering (in my head during the biopsy, I felt like screaming "holy F--K!!! That HURTS!!!) Hubby's been attentive, and cats have pawed at my leg, questioning briefly, before switching focus on their cat dishes. I updated my site (check it out), composed my program statement, and it's nice to sit, doze, zone on DVDs. The "distance" will do me good, to see it again with a new perspective. The play may be an "adolescent" by then. Cool.