The all-consuming nature of the process of creating and self-producing experimental theater work is one of the best things about it. Sure, it doesn’t make you a great conversationalist outside the rehearsal room as you near your previews but at least you’re too focused on the overall cohesiveness of the piece, it’s production values and details, to wonder overmuch about the terrifying aspects of audiences and critics. Mostly, a person gets very serious in this focus, with endless lists, calendars, excel sheets, press releases, etc, the somewhat dismal administrative side of self-producing, coated in the cold wax of concern about box office return, etc.
Yet, I was so excited yesterday that coffee actually calmed me down; it’s hard to say if theatre artists are just that because they are over-emotional, or if we are over-emotional because all of this is so emotionally catalytic. In any case, the cast and I all got worked up because enormously talented, easy to work with, and on-top-of-her-shit costume designer Lena Sands brought in what she’s been working on, including the head of the swan costume that she’s creating in collaboration with set and props wizardess Liz Jenetopulos. We also got to plan out hair and make-up looks with Brandalyn Fulton who is hardcore awesome. Sometimes, sometimes, one is trying on costumes and playing with props and talking about hair, and suddenly one is six years old again, and we remember how satisfying it is to play, and to be serious about playing. This is neither an astute statement nor an original one, but yesterday I was reminded of the endless love that lives even deeper than ideological belief in performance as a tool for social change, an endless love and delight for the theatre, for theatricality, for acting, for dressing up, for imagining.
In any case, it’s time! Come see the opera!
Our first previews are Thursday and Friday of this week, the 15th and 16th, at ABC No Rio, Manhattan’s last great DIY space, at 8pm. Tickets are pay-what-you-can, $5-$15.
Then, we perform for two weekends in East Williamsburg (Bushwick damn it!):
15 Thames Street (between Morgan and Bogart, 2 blocks from the Morgan L)
Brooklyn, NY 11201
8pm Thursday, July 22nd
8pm Friday, July 23rd
8pm Saturday, July 24th
3pm Sunday, July 25th
8pm Thursday, July 29th
8pm Friday, July 30th
8pm Saturday, July 31st
3pm Sunday. August 1st