Post-show | Second Last Man

Last night we closed Monkeyman Productions’ Banana Festival.  The play I directed, The Second Last Man on Earth, went pretty well.  The whole festival of one act plays was quite good, but being the director of “Second Last”, its the one I’m most close to.  I can honestly say that I am proud of the work that was done, though I do wish I’d had a little more time.  Our rehearsal period was significantly truncated, and as the show performed, I caught myself seeing little moments that could have been made slightly better…if only we’d had the time.  Then I catch myself: we didn’t have time, and everybody did great work with the time that we did have.  I imagine that there’s never enough time, and that there will always be moments that could have been made slightly better.

Today, I found myself feeling slightly off; and then I realized what it was: post-show depression.  It happens all the time when a show finishes.  Actors come together and spend large amounts of time in close proximity, sharing the stresses of performing and just generally hanging out.  For the period of working on a show, a group of actors form a small family, and then very quickly, the family splits apart.  Usually I am prepared for it, I know its coming, and can make arrangements to combat it.  But this show, I was not an actor, I was a director, and I didn’t expect that I’d find myself in the same mindset as if I had been an actor in the show.  So the beginnings of the post-show depression were unnoticed at first, until it was too late.

In other news, I’m turning my attention back to the Commandment and trying to fix some dramatic problems with it.  Perhaps I’ll have to change the structure. Maybe I’ll have to start over.  What I’ve determined so far, is that the play lacks high stakes, and the character’s journey needs to be fleshed out more.  So, that’s what I’m going to be working on for the next little while.  And perhaps I’ll try for next year’s Fringe Festival.

I Am Directing a Play About Zombies!!!!

I am directing The Second Last Man by Jordan Hall for Monkeyman Productions Banana Festival.  The good news is that the play is great.  Also good news is that now I get to play Left 4 Dead 2 and call it “research”.

Not so great is the fact that I’m coming in as a ringer.  Basically, things came up and the director originally slated to direct the play was unable to do so, and the Monkeymen called me.  And (to quote 24) WE’RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME!

But the best news is that the cast is great.  Tim Nussey, Melissa Zaccardelli, and Jack Morton are pulling the play together and despite the short time, and really finding some great stuff in the scenes.

In a short amount of time, we’ve managed to make some good choices about the characters, flesh out their histories, and get the play blocked.  Now we can start to find the nuance in the scenes, and get the dialogue really moving.

Once thing I’ve noticed about not having a lot of time is that you basically have two options:  you can try and hurry, worrying that if you don’t rush through everything that you’ll run out of time.  Or you can work slowly, making sure that you work carefully.  It seems that best option is to work slowly, taking your time, and ensuring that you work through each moment, not glossing over anything.  This is the best use of the actor’s time.  Working slowly like this means that everything gets its moment, and actually helps the actors to learn their scenes.  Its been an important lesson to learn.