Every single time I observe rehearsal, I’m flattered. This play is in a very good place. After being selected in November, I spent the next 3 months revising and workshopping and revising some more. At the Fresh Ink workshop, and again at the first reading with Boston Actors Theater, the ending was very troublesome. I’d painted my main character into something of a corner, and the way out wasn’t clear. We’re now on the fourth version of that final scene, and I’m excited to gauge audience response. For once, I think it works (the first few versions never felt true to me). The feedback and suggestions of the assembled team eventually helped me out of a tough spot. I was also blessed to have Jenny Reagan (the woman who would be playing Gabrielle) in the room for many of the workshops, to make sure the text worked in performance.
By the end of the workshop process, we were clarifying and fleshing out little details. The principal romantic relationship didn’t quite have the plausibility I was going for, and with advice from the Boston Actors Theater folk, I was able to build that momentum in a much more dramatically compelling way. Gabrielle’s story has only grown more complicated and nuanced and interesting. Some of our final workshops were spent arguing fine points. The play was in good enough shape we had that luxury.
Let me close by singing the praises of our wonderful director, Emilia Allen, who understands this play on a visceral level and wants to make sure it speaks to all of our audiences. I am also deeply indebted to the fantastic cast (Jenny Reagan, Patrick Massey, Jo D’Angelo, Kate Mock Elliott, Paul Ezzy) for making the words sing. I’ve shown up at plenty of rehearsals, pen in hand to make changes to plenty of spots. In the mouths and bodies of these actors, I’ve changed very little. They make less-than-ideal writing work and sound spontaneous and truthful. Who could ask for anything more?
Thank you for following the gestation of this play from beginning to first production (I refuse to use the word end. There is more work to be done!). I hope you’ll join us for one of the performances, it promises to be a good one (Sorry if I sound a bit biased… I’m a proud father, what can I say?).