Flux Sunday, January 13th
There's nothing like rising early with the sun, reading the day's paper on the early empty weekend subway, and coming to rehearse some theatre with a bunch of dudes. The dudes in this pic (taken by the lady of the rehearsal, R.K. McHugh) are myself (Red Sox cap), Brian Pracht (NY mets Cap, creating a cap replay of the '86 series), Jake Alexander (glasses), and Zack Robidas (pacing w/coffee cup). Who possesses the most raw charisma? You might as well ask which orchid possesses the most refined beauty. But enough about charismatic orchid men in the early morning. Onto your weekly Flux Sunday update!
This Sunday began with Flux membership reading through Johnna Adam's 8 Little Antichrists, the third play in her Angel Eaters trilogy. This was her very first draft, and it wrestles with end of days prophecies (yes, plural), angels shorn of wings, breeder vats, Masons, McDonald's prisons, characters strung out on driz, and God and the Devil having a great reckoning in a little room. All of our heads and hearts were buzzing with this draft, which holds enough action and ideas for three more plays. Sextology again?
Then we met for our most well attended Flux in some time - 26 peeps - and due to last minute playwright peril, the biggest cast scene was pulled out from under us. This led to some tense scene juggling, as I tried to find good stuff for all (and with all watching).
But, despite some personal quibbles that I babbled about on the train ride back, things went well. We staged 5 scenes: Open Hearts, Adam Szymkowicz's play, was directed by Kelly O'Donnell; and featured a hilarious Nurse (Lindsay Wolf) and my favorite Kelly bit in Michael Davis' Dr. X screaming "Nooooo" for longer than should have been possible; taking a breath for another long "No"; then a melodramatic "Come back!" and then a soft-silly-sad "Come back" to end the lazzi. Oh, and that was just the first scene - Marnie Schulenburg and Brian (of the aforementioned Mets cap) Pracht gave us a Lisa and Doctor Peter scene that nailed Adam's timing.
David Ian Lee self-directed his Sleeper, an epic play about an American kidnapped in Afghanistan and the right wing talk show host who exploits(?) his capture. There was really nuanced work from Zack Robidas and Katie Hartke as lovers trying not to fall out of love, and a hilarious cameo of Nancy Franklin as Benjamin Franklin (perhaps a relation?)
We then saw two scenes from Erin Browne's Trying, the first directed by me, and the second by Erin herself. My 'cast of redheads' and I had a great time wrestling with the subtle battle of a sister defending her younger sister from what appears to be true love...or is it she's defending the true love from the truth about her family?
That question reached a searing point in the second scene, where Johnna showed off her acting chops as Lena pushed away from her new love Walker (Caitlin Kinsella), terrified that the closer they got, the sooner she would have to give up being a clean slate, and tell Walker the truth. Then, with a kiss, the scene lost all that heaviness and took on the giddy rush on new love, captured by the fearless performances of Caitlin and Johnna.
We followed that up with a sad/happy farewell to Katherine Burger's Legends of Batvia. Little by little, scene by scene, we've worked our way through this farcical feast of language; and while the delirious comic twists at the end had us laughing, it was sad to think our time with the play is done. But Katherine has promised a reading of the play with music (yes, a musical) and I can't wait to hear it.
We said hello to first-timers Corey Ann Haydu and Caitlin Kinsella, and welcomed back friends who had been gone too long, like Hannah Rose Peck and Katie Hartke. And in spite of my frenzied casting and Monday morning quibble-backing, had ourselves a time.
(Yes, I just wrote quibble-backing. I'm sorry).