WHERE WE ARE, TWO WEEKS OUT by Thomas Putnam
So, two weeks from tonight we're opening a show. One of my sons (now mid-30s) has always said that the few weeks prior to a show opening I was a total nut case, a mess, a distracted lack-of-a-father. He's still talking to me, so I guess he survived a multitude of “the few weeks prior.” At first I rejected his assessment, but I've come to realize that it's a true one.
So where are we, two weeks out? Well... The set is getting close to being finished: walls are painted, most of the furniture has been located and now inhabits the stage, lights and sound still need some very focused attention. Costumes are contemporary, so not a big concern...except a few novelty items, but they've been ordered from eBay and are on the way. And the cast?
We're at the place where I sit back and admire my casting ability. Actually, it's more like overflowing with gratitude that these folks auditioned and are perfect for their roles. The process of the whole production is probably the most fulfilling for me. To begin with five people—actually we began with three of the five cast members and just recently secured the other two—who had not worked together before and who have a wide variety of acting experience and who have lives that sometimes don't allow them to be present for rehearsals and who slowly begin to memorize lines and find a character, and who now, two weeks before opening are cracking me up with their easy repartee with each other and their delivery of lines and engagement with the scene...well...it's glorious.
Last night we had a very cool rehearsal. We're digging into a portion of the play that has been less visited than others and slowly worked through it. To take those words on a page and turn them into something alive and fun and meaningful and honest is something wonderful.
Two weeks out? We're at the place now where I can hope everyone will see this production. There's plenty to chew on and admire and appreciate, and there's plenty of laughs to help you through these gray days of late winter. EXIT LAUGHING...wouldn't we all like to. See you in two weeks.