Real Love Production Dates: Feb 29, March 1, March 2, March 7, March 8, March 9 at Ravissant Winery.
3/16/08 Update: Well, the show is now done. We closed last Sunday to a very good audience. They were only 20, but they were lively and the actors really gave it their all. I was and still am so proud of them. The show just continued to get better and better as we went forward, and it already started on a high note. They also really did come together, work together, and made this something special. I couldn't be happier as a director and as a writer. A job well done by all.
And now, the show is over. It's been a tough week as all of that emotional energy and excitement comes to a halt once a show closes. Those characters you've lived with for weeks upon weeks are now gone, never to return again. What we have now is the memory of them, some pictures, and a DVD. The cast and crew and I will gather one more time tomorrow to revel in the experience and celebrate our accomplishment. And it is worthy of celebration.
I know that I sound like I'm kinda down about the whole thing. And that's because a part of me gets down about a show closing. I miss it. And although I know that there will be another one, I know because I'm already hearing characters talking in my head, but I always like to savor the one I just finished. I should be more celebratory. I should feel more joyous. And I did last Sunday before and right after the show. But we won't ever do this show ever again. We may do it down the line, but even with the same actors, it will be different. That's one of the neat things about live theater is that it is the moment. It is all about the moment. What you create in the span of the performance is something alive, something unique, something that is here and gone. It's very much like one's own life in that regard. It is mortal. And that is a big part of it's appeal and why it's remained an art form for thousands of years. It lives as we live, dies as we die. And now this production has passed on. Tomorrow's party is like its Wake. A bittersweet tribute to this life we all shared and experienced together. And we will drink and be merry and enjoy the last of our Real Love time together.
Cheers to Real Love 2008. It was a very good year for theater.
2/29/08 Post Show Update: Well, the show opened to a sold out crowd and went off without a hitch. The actors nailed their parts, nailed their lines, and moved the play swiftly through it's one hour and ten minute run time. We had a nice piece written about us in the Belleville News Democrat today which you can read here. We were also an Editor's Pick for the weekend in the River Front Times, which has a nice little write up on us here. I'm very excited and can't wait for the next 5 shows. This Sunday, March 2, will feature a Knox Alumni event, which is a great honor. It's always great when your former school can support you like this. Needless to say I'm looking forward to that!
2/29/08 Update: It's here! Opening night! It's quite exciting to say the least. To get a sneak peak at tonight's show in photos, check out the Real Love slide show over on My Flickr page. I know that my cast is feeling what I am today, which is the rush of nerves, excitement, anticipation, and giddiness that courses through one's veins on opening night. The one thing that I'm not is worried. This cast has come together this week and blew me away with their dress rehearsals. The only thing they need now is an audience, and we're expecting a packed house tonight at Ravissant Winery. If you are planing on coming out this weekend to see the show, I'd highly recommend calling in and reserving your tickets as pre-orders have been very strong this week. To do so, call 1-866-837-WINE (9463) and reserve them today!
2/23/08 Update: Well, Week 5 has ended. Next week we're in Tech Week and fine tune for the show. This past week went, all in all, very well. There are still a few sticking points in each scene that make me a little nervous, but that's what we have next week for. I am also hoping to get in a make-up slot for this past Thursday's rehearsal. It had to be canceled due to a nice wintery mix that fell on the 'Lou and whose residue gave me a nice bump on the back of my head this evening. Fell down outside scraping the window of my wife's car and hit my head on the side of the house. It bled and everything. I've not had a knot on my head like this for a long time. Crazy.
But I'm feeling a bit crazy at the moment. I get this way around this time before a show. The play is slowly slipping away from my hands and into the hands of the actors. It's more their show now than it is mine. It's always hard to let go. It's hard because now the show will sink or swim with their performance. I can simply provide constructive comments and try to instill a few last bits of direction before we open. I find myself pulling back a bit as a director and the writer in me comes forward to try and enforce the words. The writer in me is the one who's the most anxious now. It's my baby that's about to leave the nest and have a life of it's own.
It's been a fun time working with this cast and getting to where we are at the moment. Each performance has grown and has come into its own. Later this week I'll truly be able to sit back and simply watch. Until then, I've got programs to finish. I hope I get the rest of my Bio's soon. I'd like to have them all done by the Sunday sun.
2/12/08 Update: We begin Week 4 tonight. This means all actors are Off Book. It always makes for an interesting week. Everyone is right where I'd hoped they'd be with their characters so far, so I'm not as worried as I've been in some productions past, and that's a good thing. Here's to another good week!
The on-line order form for tickets is not yet listed on the Ravissant Winery web site. I hope this gets rectified by weeks end. We still have a few squeaks in the stage as well. These are all things that I can't control, so I'm not going to stress out about them. Right now I just want my actors to do great work and help them in any way that I can.
2/4/08 Update: We're into week three of rehearsals and I hope this week goes better than last, not because the actors are doing poorly, but because the weather we've had here was bad and we've had a sick actor. I actually have been feeling ill all weekend and stayed home today to try and fend it off. I'm feeling good about the play and, if we can stay healthy and if the weather works in our favor, we should have a great week of rehearsals ahead of us. We just finalized the poster and it should be off to the printers this week. Here's to a strong week three!
1/13/08 Update: I got my wish. I had to make some difficult decisions this year regarding auditions, but I have my cast and now we move forward. I'm looking forward to getting them all in a room for our first read through. Now the real fun begins.
1/12/08 Update: I am holding my last day of auditions today. So far, they've gone very well. I've already spent time with 6 wonderful actors and am set to see 5 more this afternoon. This process is usually the most nerve wracking, but this year it's actually been a lot of fun. I'm going to really have to make some tough decisions, which means that some really good people aren't going to make the cast. That's kinda rough, but it's also the best position for a director to be in, and for that I am very thankful.
I am also in talks with artist David Carr about the posters and should have some sketches to look at tomorrow. By Monday I'll also have the final pricing and ticket packages that the winery is putting together. Very exciting. Things are definitely moving right now. =0)
11/21/07 Update: The play has a title, "Real Love". The revision is in the hands of Matt at the winery as well as my group of readers. This looks to be the draft we go with for the show. I'm pretty excited. It also looks like there will be a Knox Alumni event around one of the Sunday dates. TBA.
11/02/07 Update: After getting some great feedback from my readers, my next play is going through a rewrite. We now have a working title for it, which is "The Test". I hope to have the rewrite completed soon so we can begin preproduction at the winery.
9/3/07 Update: The first draft has been completed. The play is still untitled but is ready for my group of readers to have a go with it. More news when it becomes available