Letters to Holly

Tuesday, February 6

The Plays

I started doing plays, oddly enough, in church; the parents in my Baptist church would use a kids-only nativity play to themselves play matchmakers. I'm still convinced, decades later, that I was supposed to marry the girl who played Mary to my Joseph. But that was years after I worked my way up from a sheep to a shepherd to a wise man. I don't think I ever played the Roman soldier who reads the tax decree that sent the parents-to-be to Bethlehem in the first place. Maybe I left the church before then.

There were also school plays, the kind of mindless pageants excruciating for parents and kids alike. I include in these the obligatory chorale presentations where boys are directed to sing falsetto for an hour, even during the John Denver medley. I can still sing "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" because of that, surely doubling my market value on the streets. There was the Court of Queen Arithmetic in fifth grade where I played Sir Problem, the brusque, snarky character given to me no doubt because I was an insufferable motormouth at the time.

In middle school, I remember doing a reader-theater production of Sorry, Wrong Number for one class, and that was as much fun as I could imagine back then. We did it as a radio play, complete with ringing phones and recorded train noises. We may have even gotten cassette recordings of our final performance. If we did, mine is lost to the winds now.

In high school, I joined the advanced drama class for two reasons: a good number of my friends were in it, and we would travel across the state to compete against other school groups. That was it. Performing had very little to do with trying out for the class (my first audition). I got in, we indeed went here and there and won a nice chunk of awards for our work. I even got a individual trophy in the kind of surreal moment that made me feel like a homecoming queen. And my best friend at the time got the same honor (this was for a contest-wide all-star ensemble), so I had the chance to be incredibly egotistical and equally magnanimous at the same time. We had no senior production that year on account of a snafu involving the school beauty pageant, so the trophy was the highlight of my school drama class. Well, that and watching that cheerleader change clothes backstage.

I did some college plays -- The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, Look Homeward Angel, and It's A Scream -- and went into community theatre after I graduated the university.

The Student Prince
Broadway Bound
Barefoot in the Park
The Curious Savage
The Glass Menagerie
Black Coffee
The Sound of Music
Tintypes (stage manager)
The Odd Couple

And I think this is where the blog entries can take the narration baton.

Cat On a Hot Tin Roof

The Audition
Called Back
Six Hours Til The Callback
Anxiety, Humiliation, Doubt
I Got The Call
Day One: Reading It Through
Day Two: Act Two
Day Three: Reading Act Two
Day Four: Talking It Through
Day Five: Blocking Act Two
Day Six: Act Two Redux
Day Seven: Reading Act Three
Day Eight: The Da Gooper Code
Day Nine: The Laying On of Hands
Day Ten: Pictures and Pages
Day Eleven: Onstage
Day Twelve: Memory
Day Thirteen: The Quickie
Day Fourteen: The Lines
Day Fifteen: Act III Anxiety
Day Sixteen: Let's Just Get It Right
Day Seventeen: Molding the Gooper
Day Eighteen: Goopercalypse
Day Nineteen: There Is Not A Doctor In The House
Day Twenty: Back to Words
Day Twenty-One: Getting Technical
Day Twenty-Two: We're Ready When You Are
Day Twenty-Three: Socks
Day Twenty-Four: Our First Audience
Day Twenty-Five: Calamity


Day Twenty-Six: Opening Night
Day Twenty-Seven: Second Night
Day Twenty-Eight: The Show You Saw
Day Twenty-Nine: Brush-Up
Day Thirty: Back to Work
Day Thirty-One: A Spreading Plague
Day Thirty-Two: Cast Party
Day Thirty-Three: The Cast Gift
Day Thirty-Four: Slapstick
Day Thirty-Five: Dinner and A Show
Day Thirty-Six: Curtain Call

Night of January 16th

First Night
Second Night
Third Night
Fourth Night


Marking the Floor
Walking and Talking
Script Work
'Go and Do Likewise, Gents'
End of Second Week
Line Trouble
Dusting Off Act One
Act Three Lines
Our First Friday
Getting Serious
Friday Through Sunday
Act Two Redux
Punching a Cop Is Bad, Right?
My Big Speech
Clock is Ticking
Countdown: Seven Rehearsals
Countdown: Six Rehearsals
Countdown: Five Rehearsals
Countdown: Four Rehearsals
Countdown: Three Rehearsals
Extra Drama
Countdown: Two Rehearsals
The Last Rehearsals
Biding Time


First Show
Second Show
Third Show
Rehearsal Party
Fourth Show
Fifth Show
Last Show

The Murder Game

Day One: Starting Up the Play
Day 2: Blocking Act One
Days 3 & 4: Blocking Act Two
Day 5: Back To Act One
Days 6 & 7: Act Two Details
Day 8: Act Two Again
Day 9: Act One From Memory
Day 10: Pictures and Lines
Day 11: Act One Fragments
Day 12: Act two Fragments
Day 13: Stumbling
Day 14: Scattered
Day 15: Conquering
Day 16: A New Stage
Day 17: The First Sunday
Day 18: She Needs to Calm Down
Day 19: We Can't Dance
Days 20 and 21: Tech
Day 22: Costumes
Day 23: Finding a Groove
Day 24: An Audience
Day 25: First Show
Day 26: Second Show

Day 27: Third Show

Day 28: Last Rehearsal

Day 29: Fourth Show

Day 30: Fifth Show

Day 31: Last Show and Cast Party

The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge


Rehearsals One and Two

Rehearsal Three

Rehearsal Four: No Shows

Rehearsals Five and Six: Change and Concern

Rehearsal Seven: Hello Again

Rehearsal Eight: A Bad Night

Rehearsal Nine: Cold Comfort

Rehearsal Ten: What the Hell?

Rehearsal Eleven: The Absolute Nadir

Rehearsal Twelve: Toil

Rehearsal Thirteen: Stagecraft

Rehearsal Fourteen: Bad Move

Rehearsal Fifteen: Sick Sick Sick

Rehearsal Sixteen: Tech

Countdown: Four Nights

Countdown: Three Nights

Countdown: Two Nights

Open Dress Rehearsal

First Show

Second Show

Third Show


Fourth Show

The Last Two Shows

Mama's Almost Birthday (directing)

An Offer

Almost Beginnings

Sign Me Up

Another Page Done

Officially Official

New Music and Directing

Small Stuff

Wonder Women

Making Notes



Making the Call

My Brain is Dumb

Back On Track

One Step Back

The Weekend Before


Developmental Work

Fixing the Books

First Rehearsal

Second Rehearsal

Prop Shopping

Third Rehearsal

Sudden Hopes

Oh, Right

Crash and Burn

The Curtain Comes Down

Game Face

Long Weekend

Home Stretch


All We Did Was Kick Ass

So Much Occurs

This is Why I Don't Teach

Almost Done Almost Starting

Theatre Doings

Starting With a Readthrough

Keep It Moving

New Technology

Lots of Much

One Rehearsal This Week

Working Holiday

Glee and Gratitude

Smoothing the Fur

Not My Job

Someone Had To Do It

Only Nine More Times

Getting Better

A Day Off

Last Rehearsal

First Show

Second Show

Third Show

Mid-Week Rehearsal



No comments: