For several reasons, I haven’t been able to attend rehearsals, so it’s going to be a complete surprise. I don’t mind too much.
Through the years I have worked with directors who firmly instructed me to stay the hell away until first night, and with directors who wanted me around so much that the whole process turned into one giant workshop right up to dress rehearsal* – and just about everything in between.
I love being there to see the thing shape itself, and build on my words, but I love just as much the sudden revelation when the curtain goes up, and my play appears in its new form.
Both ways, I have been lucky enough to work with wonderful people who know their stuff, and know how to make the most of mine – so that, both ways, the game has always been magical and highly rewarding.
The Man of the Sonnets is going to be a new experience in its halfway-ness: as I said, I attended no rehearsal for the staged reading, but I gather there will be some workshopping with the author afterwards…
Meanwhile, though, Monday night will fall in the Sudden Revelation category, and I find myself burning with anticipation. Butterflies flutter in my stomach at the thought of sitting in the darkened house, waiting for the curtain-up… Or shall I watch from backstage? I’m not clear yet. I’ve been asked to briefly introduce the play to the audience, and I’m not sure there will be time for me to go back to my seat once I’m done.
Again, I don’t terribly mind either way: I’ve watched my (and plenty of other people’s) plays from both the seats and backstage, and from the lighting board – and love it both ways, for different reasons. At the risk of sounding like some insufferable stage-mad Pollyanna, there isn’t much that I don’t love, when it comes to theatre…
But bear with me. I’m having a staged reading in five days, done by people whose work I like, and if all goes well – the Bard and Thalia willing – it will prelude to a full production, and I’m all a-flutter over it.
* Which is how I eventually took up lighting design… but this is a tale for another time.