So, I am near completion of the script for Banned in Boston.
We had a reading of it the other night, and all seemed pleased, which is a relief!
It is quite difficult, writing a script for non-actors, who will not have rehearsed and will probably be a bit looped as well. Script in hand, mic in the other. No props. No more than 3 lines per person at a time, or thereabouts (any more, and they start to get lost).
And it needs to be funny.
The host, it turns out, will be super-handsome TV actor David Walton, Boston native and star of the new NBC show "Bent". It will be exciting to meet him. I can finally ask the burning question of what it's like to be an actor that actually gets paid something. Last time I acted, I think I was actually paid in gummy worms.
Banned in Boston will go up on April 27th, for one night only. School will end the following week, and I'll have some time off for a bit.
I usually don't do much in the summer. I haven't been able to find any regular summer work, besides my one-week stint at BoCo's Vocal Choral Intensive for High School students, which is always a crazy blur of fun. So I usually need to be frugal in the summer.
|The Groom, The Maid, The Bellhop & The Bride|
|Paula in "Miss Price"|
|Cat Paternostro as The Siren in Necessary Monsters|
Working on the rewrite of Necessary Monsters, as well.
|Myself and Marissa Rae Roberts in "Uncle Vanya"|
|the salt girl|
Obviously, it would need to be more of a staged reading: it's impossible to remount the entire production for one show. But the group is terribly supportive and really gung-ho. They really love the play! I had no idea that so many psychoanalysts would be so into The Salt Girl. It really means a lot to me. And makes me feel even crazier then I already do. In a good way.
I would like to make The Salt Girl a one-act, if possible. The main response I've found with the piece (and I agree) is that it feels too long. I always felt that it wants to be a one act, no intermission. But we couldn't figure out how to make that happen at BPT. And two hours seemed too long for an audience to sit thru (then again, I just saw The Andersen Project, and that was no problem. I could have seen the whole thing again!). So we had an intermission. But an intermission disrupts the flow of the piece, and it's such a strange world, with it's own set of rules, that when you stop for a break, it's hard to get back into it. I think. So, I'm going to give it a try with this reading. And hopefully it will find another home, somewhere, like Nepenthe.
So, everything is redux, redux, redux.
|Nicky Sawyer as Irma & Joe Longthorne as The Chief of Police|
I tried reading the 900-page Genet by Edmund White but gave up about a third of the way thru and just skipped to the juicy parts concerning The Balcony. That and the other research made me feel a little better about what I wanted to do, because I realized that no matter what I did, Genet would probably have hated it. He hated every production of The Balcony. He didn't even like the play itself after awhile, apparently: he felt it was a rehearsal for The Screens and The Blacks (which he considered much better plays).
If you are contemplating directing The Balcony, here's some things I discovered, which you might find helpful (or not):
1. It is LONG! It is almost ALWAYS cut. (The last time the play was done professionally in Boston was at the ART, directed by Joanne Akalitis. Akalitis's production was over 4 hours long! She didn't cut a thing. Tommy played one of the photographers, and since the photographers didn't appear until the last scene, his call time was 10pm - . His CALL time was 10pm! Now that's a long play!)
So, you need to cut it, just like Winter's Tale!
Personally I think plays should either be 90 minutes or 8 hours long.
But WHAT you cut is another story. The New York production that Jose Quintero directed cut all of Scene 6, which is the scene between Chantal and Roger, the revolutionary. I didn't want to do that for a few reasons: first, it would have eliminated the role of Chantal completely, and limited the role of Roger drastically (and since it is a student production, I wanted as many people involved as possible, of course). I also really felt that they were the heroes of the play. It's Roger and Chantal that you are rooting for, in the end. At least, for me. Everyone else is sort of an asshole. Except of course, maybe for Irma and Carmen. But that's debatable. I ended up keeping Scene 6, and I made the most cuts in Scenes 5, 7 and 9 (in the long tete a tete between Irma and Carmen, the Envoy scene and the long scene between the Chief of Police and the Three Functionaries, respectively). Even cut, the play is long , that's just what it is (our version was 3 hours, which is Shakespeare length). But I also added a pre-show that dramatized Chantals' escape from the brothel with Roger (which is spoken about, but never seen). Otherwise, you have NO idea who these people are. Especially if you cut the passing mention of them in Scene 5. Which I did.
Another great thing about this lost Bishop/Rosine scene: it helps buy time for Irma to change into the Queen for her entrance in Scene 8. Without it, she pretty much leaves at the end of Scene 7 and comes right back on stage as The Queen at the top of Scene 8, which is a quick change indeed! Our transformation was pretty elaborate, so we needed that extra time. There's also another version (in French only, I believe) that includes a "dream ballet" of blood, tears and sperm (played by the actors playing the Photographers). I couldn't find this version, sadly. But I found where it used to be, and just added my own ballet.
To Leslie Gore's "Sunshine, Lollipops".