I took the audience's picture during my warning not to use flash photography during the show...

Last night we opened and the cast really entertained the medium-sized audience, leaving them smiling and charmed. This script is a wonder of charming. It was wonderful for the cast to have a full audience. I now can look forward to seeing the nightly path of our creation as if grows, changes, and finds different meanings in many places while entertaining, enriching and effecting our audiences before passing away on September 25th after the final performance.

On our preview night, the final “rehearsal” before our opening, we left a four person audience of invited friends charmed and happy. They loved the show and I felt good for the actors to finally get the laughs and the pensive silences that cannot come in all the empty house rehearsals that lead up to that. It was an interesting show – with a bunch of little mishaps – gaffs, mistakes, disfunctions and oversights. (There is an axiom that goes around in theatre – “Bad dress rehearsal, good show” – and that seemed to hold in our case.) Some of the actors felt bad about the mishaps, all of a sudden feeling a little bit less prepared than they thought they were. But I told them this – we were now into the realm of live theatre and as always was and will be: things happen and you just roll with it and create the magic onstage in a different, albeit unrehearsed, way. Then afterward, you look at your mishap, relearn what you forgot and make the effort to not let that particular one happen again. Because – there will be a new mishap the following performance and what you do not want is a 20 mishap crash happening on the highway that is your show. They corrected the preview set of mishaps – crossed them out – and went forward with a really clean, clear opening, performance. There may have been a fumbled word or two, but nothing like the night before.

I have always been amazed by actors (and even as an actor) about how the performer’s mind works in those onstage crises that spring themselves upon the action. The actor’s mind hears or sees the error, rates it as a mistake, thinks about what appropriate measures are needed to accommodate the necessary change(s) and delivers the change into the action flow. Usually in a matter of a split second! It is truly a miracle in a way.

So we settle into our run. Second night performances can be a bit less sharp than openings, so I will alert the cast to that and expect that they will energize their tasks so we do not have a drop in performance level. Experience tells me that all short runs of shows, our run is only 8, have a best show, a worst show, new mishaps, new understandings of lines and circumstances, and differing levels of performances that merely mirror the everyday energy changes we have in our lives. It is what I expect to happen and so I will not let my enjoyment of what we created be affected by these things. The show goes on – as it must!

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