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I'm an NYC-based director, and this is an outlet for my various musings about theater and about the city of New York. Sometimes the subjects run together, sometimes they are entirely separate, but between the two they comprise the most fitful, most intense, most trying love affair of my few years. They fill my head, my heart, my mouth every hour of every day; they could fill a book.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Suite for Summer

I'm directing a reading tonight. It's the first thing I've done since March, so that's good. Well, I should say it's the first performance that I've done, because I HAVE been working as diligently as possible on both my project with Johanna and the resurrection of 8 Women: A Karaoke Murder Mystery, even though neither of those projects have any performances in the foreseeable future.

(I don't believe I've blogged about 8 Women, have I? Yikes. The show, which was at the epicenter of my theater life for so long, has faded so far into the background it hasn't even been worth mentioning since I started this blog. I suppose it's for the best. We all needed a break from the thing, I think, to come back at it with renewed vigor. Which we are doing now. More on that later.)

So, the reading. First of all, it's tonight. (And it's free, so come!) Here's the info: 7:30, A.R.T./NY at 520 8th Ave, 3rd floor, Bruce Mitchell Room. The play is called Suite for Summer, by a woman named Robyn Burland. I actually worked with Robyn on the very first show I did in the city - a play of hers called Greater Buffalo. I was the stage manager and assistant director - I mostly, as she reminded me last night, mopped fake blood off the stage. It's been great to come back around and work with her again. She's enormously talented; she, and her plays, have such a weird, warped sense of humor.

Rehearsal was last night, I think it went well. I think I made as many small adjustments as I could for the time frame within which I was working. Directing readings is always such a weird thing for me. I don't make hasty choices in life, or in directing. I like to consider, process, marinate before I give a direction, an impulse I have to work against in the rehearsal setting for a reading. When you have four hours - as we did last night - to realize the performance, if you see something you want to work differently, you better speak up because you might not come back to it again.

This is pretty antithetical to my own approach. I like to watch, see where the actors are going with something, even if I don't like it at first, because they might take it somewhere I didn't expect and like even better than what I was planning. Of course, none of this is relevant in the hyper-accelerated reading process. Everything is what it is, it has no room to change or grow, and you just have to say what you like and change what you don't. I've gotten better at it, though. I'm starting to get the hang of it. There were definitely a few directions that I wish I had given to the actors sooner, but, for the most part, the rehearsal went well. I'm looking forward to the performance tonight.


  1. You did a great job, it was an entirely worth while experience, I trust we will do more in the future, great working with you!

  2. Thanks, Mark. It was great working with you too - you did a great job with the part. Yes, here's to more work together in the future! Pass on my thanks and compliments to Jen as well. You guys were terrific.