Tonight, I showed up at my venue to find a sign out front claiming that all shows had been canceled due to illness -- our venue manager was in the hospital, and unable to let anybody into the space. Because I have the most awesome tech ever, she immediately made a series of phone calls and secured us a performance space above a nearby coffee shop. Since all of my props, costume, and (perhaps most importantly) script were locked inside, the show would have to go forth without any of those things. My tech spent several minutes frantically scribbling all of her cues onto a sheet of paper so that I could use her tech script (in ten-point Times New Roman, squint) as my reference material. All of this happened in the space of approximately half an hour.
As the audience shuffled in, I tried to say the following to them. (I would love to say that this is exactly what I said, but I'm rarely anything resembling eloquent without the opportunity to write my material beforehand.)
Six years ago, I formed a company called Maximum Verbosity, out of the belief that words could do damn near anything. Tonight, we're going to put that hypothesis to the test.
Normally, this is a show punctuated by visual cues: by costume, props, and carefully-rehearsed changes in lighting and mood. I believe that this story is strong enough to survive without any of those things. It should be: it's already survived for over fifteen hundred years.
But for tonight, we're all going to be part of a little Brechtian experiment. Here's hoping I can entertain you.