Letters to Holly

Monday, June 15

Theatre Doings

A teacher party blossomed Friday night, and there was much revelry and '80s music. Your Sister spread the word about her motorcycle, and the reactions continue to range from "cool" to "wait, you?!"

I had another theatre meeting, and we defined the one-act shows. There will be four (as of now), and our one-act will perform first (as of now). I told them my Mom actress bowed out, and they suggested names. I accidentally named the show. The original "Potpourri" title was shot down by the theatre president, and we brainstormed. I made a joke about summer shorts, and it stuck. So we're presenting Summer Shorts (as of now).

I found out two of my actors are working another of the one-acts, meaning we'll have to split our rehearsal time. As if we needed to make this more difficult. I did advocate doubling parts early on, but that was when we might have used the reading format. As decreed by the committee, we're to be off-script and use fully realized sets (as of now). We have three weeks to rehearse and learn lines, and splitting rehearsal time is going to add a new degree of difficulty.

As the meeting ended, I was asked to help out a reading committee pick plays to debut next year. I agreed with a disclaimer that I will only grab one or two plays at a time. I won't do six a week like last year, not when I'm directing a play that opens within a month (as of now). While I was there, Your Sis attended graduation, and we accidentally met up with teacher friends for lunch.

We drove down to Greenville to meet Your Sister's college buddy and her mom for dinner and a show. The meal was at a swank new place called the Lazy Goat, and it encouraged plate sharing for entrees. Lots of cheese dishes. The pizzas were good. I think I impressed the ladies when I ordered the Spanish wine in my approximate Spanish dialect. The waitress didn't guffaw, and I took that as a small victory.

They indeed got us tickets for Carousel at Greenville Little Theatre, my one-time stomping grounds. I've been away so long, I had to remind myself I performed there. It was a big show chosen to end the season with a bang. It's an early Rogers and Hammerstein musical similar to their Oklahoma! -- ballet sequences, songs for various romantic subplots, a theme for the bad guy, and an awkward ending. It called for all hands to work hard, and the cast was game. The theatre always set itself apart from the other small companies with superior technical resources, and we got a spectacle.

I went backstage to see people I hadn't in five years. One guy reacted like I was Marley's ghost, and the daughter of another actor recognized me from a recent viewing of The Odd Couple video. I wanted specifically to thank the theatre's artistic directors, and I did. I was almost teary. They gave one of four Glass Menagerie roles to an unknown hick, and I did five shows in all with them before I moved. I will never regret moving here to woo Your Sister. But I can easily see what I would do if I stayed in town. I'd be a regular with this theatre. My current company just can't compare. GLT is in another league of repertory and resources. It's not a fair comparison, but it makes our current efforts seem all the more paltry. It was a late-night drive to get back home, and I was wired from an after-dinner coffee and seeing old friends. I made much blah-blah.

I ran Sunday morning, and I've decided to now run every day for at least two miles, preferably in the morning. From our street to the nearest green light and back is slightly over two miles. Most of that is uphill, and I'm now running a smidgen over 18 minutes. When that time shortens, I'll go back to three-mile increments.

Your Sis graded papers. I called one of the suggested actresses and gave her my sales pitch. I learned quickly that she had already heard the pitch by my theatre liaison. I talked to her for an hour about the show, our theatre backgrounds and philosophies, and the pitfalls of community theatre fluff. I'm impressed. I was worried the show would be beneath her, and I pinned my hopes on our conversation sealing the deal. I tried to convince her the cast atmosphere would spark a strong show. As I pitched it, there are good stories, and there are weak stories told well. We can do the latter.

Your Sis finished grading research papers, and I treated her to dinner as the endcap to Debacle-nalia. We watched a Netflix movie and ate more anniversary cake (De-Bake-analia) to finish the evening.

Monday's morning run was 18:20. In American History, that's the Monroe Doctrine. I'd like to cut that to the first Continental Congress (let's say 17:40). Eventually of course I want to be at Columbus's arrival.As I chugged up the last hill, Your Sis drove by on the way to work. Normally, I'd still be in bed.

The actress called and agreed to do the show. She had concerns about certain lines, and I assured her of I'm approaching the show as a sitcom, but not a stupid one. The humor comes from sincere delivery, not from yuk-yuk slapstick and clowning. She will have her dignity. I hope to start rehearsing next week.

Picture of the Day
I start every morning right with a big bowl of Trooper-Os.

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