Saturday, July 24, 2010

Serendipity *

People always tell you things happen for a reason and I have a great deal of trouble with this concept, but even more with disputing it. So I have been involved with a show that has been an immense catharsis for me. The entire experience was an exercise in serendipity. Firstly, I met the playwright at a Qi Gong workshop. If you don’t know what that is, it’s ok. It isn’t important to the plot other than to know that it is an internal art form dedicated to helping healing and putting one on the right path. Ok, maybe it is important to the plot. Anyway, we were introduced by one of our mutual instructors who thankfully uses his Machiavellian skills only for good.

To continue, I started a dialogue with the playwright at the first workshop, and we found out we had quite a bit to talk about, let’s just say. I gave her my blog URL that night, I think. We continued talking and she sent me the script which was so close to my heart that I knew I needed to be a part of the project in some way. Around the same time, I got an email from another director friend of mine who said that this wonderful new playwright had just lost her director and my friend wasn’t available and wanted to know if I could direct. Same playwright. Ok, this has now come at me from several directions, I would be unwise to tick off the universe and ignore it.

So I called the playwright up and found out not only had she lost her director but also her venue. Yikes! But this show has to happen! I knew it. She knew it. The lighting designer knew it. So we just said we would make it happen. I told her, I will direct if you need it, act if you prefer it, or carry a spear if required. I have always been someone who ran on faith. Decide to do it, announce you shall do it, and then figure out how. It always seems the means you will find or they will find you if you just ask.

I should probably mention that the show was about a woman in a stagnant marriage, not good, not bad, who is a frustrated writer living an existence dictated by her social setting and upbringing and entirely unsatisfactory. So much so, that she has created an alter-ego for herself, who both protects and challengers her. This was ultimately to be my role though I did not know it at the time. I called it a love triangle between two people.

Well she got another director and a new venue and I came in for a read-thru which turned out to be audition which turned into a read-thru. It was all a very non-traditional process but that was ok, because we were doing important work; we just didn’t know what or why, but we knew it was important.

The shows were uneven, the audiences good and the reviews, excellent. I received better press than I ever have and a potential offer to bring the show back and develop it in a different venue. But more than anything, I gained a small group of women who have a similar understanding of what it is like to be in this situation because this cast came with an understanding that comes only from experience, though we spent little time talking about our own. And as much as my blog seems to resonate with readers, this show resonated with audiences, whether it was the frustration, the stagnation, motherhood, fidelity, duty-there was something that touched the lives of each person sitting there in the dark, sparking debates and conversations that spilled over into coffee houses and onto websites. Ripples. I knew it. I am not in a unique experience. I’m just in company too polite to talk about it. D*mn! Enough with the silence already, people. Clearly, as the saying goes, “we need to talk.”

video

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