The Day After

Last night was fantastic! No, really, it was.

I knew going in to it that we would have a strong opening, but what ended up happening is that we had to turn away people – including the Mayor of Elgin and his wife.

So with a delayed starting time and an overstuffed house, the first annual Elgin Short Play Festival opened. As we began, it was apparent that the audience was feeling out these Rebeck plays. But by the end of the first act, they were completely with us and the show.

Then came the second act, where the tone changed as we entered another part of Rebeck’s writing. This act was more serious and somber. She’s reflecting on the difficult choices we make in our daily lives.

I think this threw the audience for a loop. Honestly, it threw me off a bit as well. I knew the second act was different, but wow, what a change. The actors were still sharp and intense, but the plays had a different feel about them altogether.

Of course tonight is a new night with a new audience, so we’ll see what happens. As I mentioned earlier, it’s always interesting to see how an audience responds to your work. The way they respond influences how an actor will respond. It’s truly a binary relationship. Even during the comedic portions of last night’s performance, I was hearing things from the audience that I never expected. They were picking up on things I hadn’t notice. It was exciting.

I guess that’s what always brings me back to staging these types of projects: letting my curiosity guide me down the rabbit role to see what will happen.

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