Flux Sunday, March 2nd
I am so late posting about Flux's developmental adventures! I would be ashamed if I had time to be ashamed! Instead, I will do penance by making every sentence in this post end with an exclamation point!
Or no, that would make all suffer. No one likes an unnecessarily exclamation. (I think!?!?)
Ah, reader, but we've had a good run of Flux Sundays since March 2008 became a part of our lives. Let me tell you about the first.
We began by reading through the second half of my short play for Gideon Productions, 19 Words. For those of you who know, imagine Jane Taylor reading this monologue, and then imagine me profoundly happy with the happy-sad:
Shh, listen, you’ll like this.
I was thinking about how I met you,
And him, for the first time; and I just knew
One of you was going to change everything
For me; suddenly I became aware
That my body was an adult body
Or close enough, which meant it was going
To get sick like my Mom’s body was sick,
Die like all my fucking grandparents did,
(All four of them dead by then, no damn fair);
I felt my skin turn into something that
Could and would get sick and die; so then why,
Looking at the pair of your teenage grins,
Did I feel something wonderful begin,
Something so beyond anything I’d dreamed
That in that moment I couldn’t tell which one
Of you I’d fallen in love with, first sight;
And then I blinked and realized, oh, right, him;
But Fred, what if I just blinked the wrong eye?
Setting aside the fact you were attracted
To little kids and so that wouldn’t have worked;
And now you’re dead and can’t hear me at all;
Thanks for moaning, sorry this is so long;
But I’m just trying to say in that blink
Our entire life together was lost forever;
And that’s how we go, blinking along, losing
Entire lives with every lowered lid;
So that when my husband died, when you die,
And me, a million blinking lives go, too;
A field of fireflies dark all at once;
And once dark, like they never lit at all.
I know that. What I don’t know is why I
Want to say the sentence so fucking bad;
Why the end of the world feels so much like
Looking at a pair of teenage boys grinning;
Because, Fred, now I know the final word,
The nineteen words that end the world, I know;
And so even though I know that ending
Even one blinking life is tragedy,
Two boys are grinning and one of them’s mine.
Shh, Fred, I’m going to tell you a secret.
We then read-through the first scene of Rob Ackerman's play about an acting teacher at a military school, most memorably brought to vividry (not a word, and probably shouldn't be) by the happy return of David Crommett and his performance as the drill seargent.
Once on our feet, we staged 8 pages of David Ian Lee's Sleeper, which have the proportional weight of 3 pages of a normal play. Especially exciting was the introduction to the group of Jason Howard, of whom I've heard such wonderful things (especially in the legendary Universal Robots production) as Bobby; and his dirge for his daughter.
A WONDERFUL WIFE
We also approached the climatic confrontation in Jeremy Basescu's A Wonderful Wife, as Angela's malevolent hold on the once hapless marriage of Carl and June is shaken by the arrival of drawings with too much beauty for anyone's good. Especially exciting was Ken Glickfeld's righteous helpless and hilarous wrath, and Isaiah Tanenbaum's continued impressive work as a director (he will go on to earn his Flux Merit Badge in Directing and pull into the lead of Flux badgery.)
Now, if I'm you, and according to Walt Whitman, I might be, I know what we're thinking; why did we use that picture of Caitlin Kinsella from Have Another at the start of this post? Well, if you've read this far, that means you should be rewarded with that very knowledge, and you must therefore know that as Sally, the Texas cheerleader/decorator/land shark from Katherine Burger's marvelous play, Texas Toast; Caitlin broke through into major Flux Sunday player status. This coveted status was earned by her Sally cavorting like a bull made of sunlight through a particularly delicate china shop; perhaps best immortalized by her spanking herself in delight at just how bad she was being. The scene was Sally's 'friendly' visit to Claire's home. Claire, an East Coast transplant brought to Texas by her husband Andrew's work, is ill-prepared for the hurricane of judgement, peer pressure, and aggressive kindness that Sally brings.
While Claire is being overwhelmed by Sally, Sally's husband Bo is performing a similar dominance of Andrew (Claire's husband). And as we learn that on their business trip to Thailand Bo has persuaded Andrew to do some darker things; the bottom drops out of the play's antic humor; and becomes about a working marriage of two delightfully morally bankrupt vitalists (Sally and Bo) trying to dominate the failing marriage of the well-meaning but guilt-ridden Andrew and Claire.
Also exciting was Amy Fitts' first Sunday as Claire, and her subtle and nuanced work was truly lovely.