Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Back into the Woods

We've been performing at Ball's Cabaret for the past month, and...it's been good to get back to work. Sitting down at the first rehearsal, I found myself wondering, how long? How long has it been since I got to sit down with a group of actors and just work on a text?

I've been busy, sure -- busy talking to venues, drawing up contracts, putting together rehearsal schedules, figuring out budgets, talking on the phone and answering e-mails. I'm working on enough shows now that keeping them organized and running smoothly is a full-time job. But I'm still so frustrated by that old irony -- I self-produce to keep my scripts onstage and in development, but production means that I don't have time to *write* anymore. Actually working on a show is the smallest part of getting it in front of people, and that balance between business and actually having energy to be passionate about what I'm working on is a hard, hard, hard one to strike.

In any case, we're performing as part of Cheap Theatre's monthly spoken-word showcase this Saturday. Theme of the evening is "Ghost," and we'll be doing a reading from Broceliande, which comprised half of our 2005 Fringe outing, Camelot is Crumbling. It's my favorite script that I've written, and by far the most polarizing production. I really got the full gamut of responses on this one -- everything from active anger and confusion (the vast bulk), to condescending "What a cute experimental phase you're going through now" (frustratingly many), to those who hailed the production as "intensely compelling" and "inventively done" (few and far between).

The overall failure of the production was a hard blow, however, mainly because I remain such a strong believer in the text. This is the one that I pull out when people ask to see my work, if only because I feel like I need some fucking *closure* on it. Even now, I'm not sure what to do with it -- if it works better as almost entirely spoken word or if it needs to be movement-heavy -- if the staging is too surreal or not surreal enough.

The problem, ultimately, is that the script is *difficult*. It's expressionistic, it's non-linear, it's a great big ball of words and images that's hung on a structure that's almost entirely opaque. And it's as much a problem to find the right audience for it as it is to find the right way to stage it.

Whatever the case, its latest incarnation -- however brief -- will be taking place at the Banquet Hall of the Black Forest Inn, this Saturday, October 20th, at 7:30pm. Ticket price is $12.00, and that includes a beverage. Other artists on the bill include Alex Bernstein, Joe Delorme, Paula Reed Nancarrow, Sandy Thomas, and Erica Christ. Come check us out, and lemme know what you think.