Letters to Holly

Friday, October 12


The accusatory emails petered off after I contacted both parties and asked for discretion. Apparently what happened was this: The actor, who revealed he had worked previous versions of this show, made whispered directorial suggestions to other actors Wednesday night, and the director caught wind of them. She didn't appreciate the back-seat driving and let fly in the emails. He fired back. I find out after rehearsals tonight that the director was tempted to cancel the show based on his comments. But, keep in mind that she's been virtually abandoned by the crew. The producer's out, the assistant director quit, and we have actors who have passively quit by simply not showing up.

I can't blame her for wanting to dump the show. And if we do this -- if we simply call it a night -- it needs to be sooner rather than nearer to showtime. I don't want to see my work go for naught, but I can't say I'm surprised by it. I had trepidation of working with this company, and everything began here with a last-minute change of productions. This show requires a sizable cast, and this follows a show with another large cast. It's adventurous to mount two big shows consecutively, and our director, from what I can see, is a lone captain. She still has to fill roles, and we're three weeks from the curtain going up.

Tonight, everything seems OK when we assemble. The actor/photographer is setting up another publicity image. The cast takes the room's temperature, and we agree silently that things are calm. It's possible that this was a needed pressure release. The director apologizes to me if I was offended by the online argument, and I sincerely say that isn't the case. I don't use the script for the majority of tonight's Act Three but do pick it up for the last ten pages. I'm going to memorize those this weekend. Because most of us are trying to work offscript (and mostly succeeding) we start acting, instead of merely reciting, and there are genuine moments of tension. The defendant, especially, is doing some heavy lifting in my cross-examination. Doc is obviously studying his closing argument.

As the actor/photographer takes the stand, he raps the attorney table in character, and the director compliments him. So far, so peaceful. We are told later to pretend the gun is heavier so it doesn't look like a toy. I worry that my projection limits the variety of my enunciation. I'll work on that starting next week. I want each examination to be distinct as the play progresses. In this last act, particularly (as the murder conspiracy is revealed and the case threatens to unravel) my guy has to, well, he has to mirror the director. He's got to keep his argument together even, and I enjoy this, even if it's not the true version of events. He gets more dramatic, more aggressive. By the end of the play, he's desperate to put away the defendant because of her perceived moral decadence instead of whether she killed someone.

I have trouble with the gun's serial number, CC3490, and it continues to come out of my mouth in a jumble of syllables. It makes us all goofy. These things happen all the time in rehearsals. We run a bit late tonight, but we repeat segments of the act to get timing and delivery correct. The judge, try as he might (or might not) still doesn't know what page we're on half the time.

Tonight is a full-play runthrough, and I will appreciate having Saturday off. I haven't seen much of Your Sister this week. Unfortunately, we start Sunday practices this weekend.

Official play website

Getting Serious
Our First Friday
Act Three Lines
Dusting Off Act One
Line Trouble
End of Second Week
'Go and Do Likewise, Gents'
Script Work
Walking and Talking
Marking the Floor


First Night
Second Night
Third Night
Fourth Night

Picture of the Day
Auntie Em!

No comments: