There is always a moment in a show when you feel you made the right choice. That choice could be the play, the actors, the director, a moment, you name it.
Last week I was directing one of my pieces for the Elgin Short Play Festival. I was working with Jim Pierce and Lori Holm. We were doing our table work, breaking the characters down, working out the situation. It was great. Choices were being made and the play was starting to show some life. All this happened just sitting at the table. I can’t until we get this piece on its feet.
But later – in between my duties of letting people in the building and ushering them to their rehearsal spaces – I had the chance to leave my show and check out the other pieces.
So Jim and Lori are in the tech room. In the gallery space is Richard Pahl working with his two casts. And down the hall is Sarafina Vecchio in the green room. She’s working with Steve Connell and Ross Frawley.
A word about Sarafina Vecchio is necessary at this point. At close to 6′ tall with the energy of a reactor, this woman moves through a room like a tornado. She works fast and thinks on her feet with wonderful clarity. You get excited watching her. You also need to keep up with her train of thought. And ever since she staged her own review of Brecht for Janus back in 2008, I’m one of her biggest fans. That show was active, visceral, eloquent, moving and intense.
Watching Sara work with Ross (a newcomer to Janus) and Steve (making his debut with Janus, but not new to any of us as an actor) it was a moment that made me feel very good about this project. Not that I didn’t before, but producing theater is very much like making food – you never know how it’s all going to taste after all the ingredients are mixed together. You have an idea, but you never know.
Well, after last week, I can say I’m getting very hungry.