This was not my first time there, but my experience felt vastly different than last time. I believe this was for three reasons:
1) I had two ten minute plays in rehearsal, Occupy Hallmark and Playing Checkers.
2) Everyone fought so hard to beat the snow and get there, that there was a great spirit of "the show must go on" and tons of theatre folk making it work, together, and sticking it to the shitty weather.
3) I got to "mentor" three wonderful stage management students, who I hope to continue to work with and support as they build their careers in theatre.
This time around, having two plays, I felt like my time was unevenly split between both plays. Mostly because Occupy Hallmark is one of my quirky, offbeat, romantic-comedies, where Playing Checkers is a dark, intense, family drama dealing with some pretty frightening issues. Clearly, I spent more time in the delicate rehearsals for Checkers, and since it was my first time in rehearsal for this play, we even found some edits we could make! I am so grateful for my director Theresa Lang, who knew how navigate my actors through the awkwardness of working on this play, as well as let them explore and find the right way to lure in our audience... I also was so fortunate to have two courageous actors who kicked butt, and drove right into the challenging sibling relationship this play depicts.
Occupy Hallmark has been around the block a few times, Sam French, Marblehead Little Theatre, Nylon Fusion, and so on... PLUS, I had the privilege of working with it's KCACTF Director Linda Sutherland last year on my play Leave a Message. So when I had to split my time, I know that OCCUPY would do fine with out me. When I was in the room of OCCUPY, I was blown away by how quickly the cast got the nuances of the script and experimented with the larger than life characters MOOSE and SALTY.
And to top it all off, both of my plays made it on as Regional National Ten Minute Play Award Finalists, now I can cross my fingers in hopes of bringing one of them to Nationals in DC this spring. FINGERS CROSSED!
Now, stage management mentoring is really a passion of mine, it's basically education and teaching which is one of my newest passions. I got to meet with two UMASS Boston students and really get to know them and their prompt books. We talked about their career goals, SM paperwork, and where they wanted to go after they graduated. (Of course, I'm pushing for them to stay in Boston and come work with me!) I even pillaged one of them onto my Boston Public Works production of FROM THE DEEP as the assistant director! I just get so proud and pumped about Stage Management when I talk to young SM hopefuls, that it made me so excited to jump back on the last performance of Measure of Measure at ASP (which I had to take a break from in order to go to the festival.)
Here are some of my favorite photo memories from KCACTF!