The Official WL Studio Theatre blog

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bittersweet symphony

I'm not quite ready to let go yet. And I don't think I will be by Saturday night's performance, either.

Maybe this is why I bring plays to festival. Because it extends the process. Because it allows you to postpone the goodbyes, the farewells, the acceptance that it is, in fact, over.

I'm sitting here, getting in a staring contest with my proof print of the "Welcome to the Monkey House" program and the notion that a week of performances are already over seeems ludicrously surreal to me. The fact that there are only another four performances to go seems ridiculous.

How did we get here?

It's not that I don't feel the play is read for exhibition. It is. Everyone knows their job, and everyone is doing it brilliantly. I just feel like...

Okay, here's a story.

As a director, I've spent the last few weeks focused on the little details. Little niggly things that bugged me. Annoying things. But I had a moment, on Thursday night, while watching the show, that I remembered how good this play is. I was no longer focused on the little things, I was no longer stressing about the niggly bits, I actually got the sense of the play as a whole, and it's a goddamn good play.

And, barring festival, we've only got four nights left to show this goddamn good play to an audience.

That's kind of sad.

On Saturday night, someone whose opinion I respect very, very much was in the theatre to see the show, and he told me that he enjoyed it, that we had done a good job, and those are the moments I crave as a director. To have someone say "You did a good job," or, "I liked it," or, "Damn fine play," or whatever.

I think, as a general rule, I struggle to communicate to a very small portion of the audience. And it's nice to know when I've reached them.

I hate doors closing. I hate endings. But this play will end, for all intents and purposes next Saturday night, whether I like it or not.

So let's kick some goddamn ass on our way out the door.

Because it's a good play. It says things that are profound and meaningful. It hopefully allows you to leave the theatre feeling good about yourself, and about life.

And that's not an idea I warm up to easily.


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