Other Bodies Post Mortem
So busy have we been with our retreat and prepping for our trilogy, that we never had a chance to properly blog about the process of Other Bodies. Here is a brief round-up:
The most exciting news we've already mentioned: director Heather Cohn's FringeNYC Award!
But there was much else to be proud of and excited by:
1.) The unanimous praise for Vince Nappo's performance as Terry - even when people didn't connect with the play, they always connected with Vince's human and charismatic reading of this very difficult part. Not to mention he's a cribbage lover, and I owe him a game upon his return from Glengarry in Denver.
2.) Leonard Jacobs over at Clyde Fitch not only wrestling with the difficult last third of the play, but actually posting some text from it! I was moved by our post show conversation, and so grateful for this post.
3.) Cat Alder-Josem, our intrepid Stage Manager. A cooler head on a cooler person would be hard to find, and she is going to do great things when she moves to NYC.
4.) A review from Nathaniel Kressen at nytheatre.com that explored the structure of the play in a fascinating way, with my favorite quote being: Time and time again, she (Christina Shipp) shatters and rebuilds the world around us. Nappo is the mirror, and Shipp is the hammer that breaks it.
5.) Christina Shipp's 'Season of Dudes' continued successfully - and just how many actresses could play Bottom, Jeff Matthews and Father Benny? Not too fricking many. Jeff in the airplane, for whatever reason, was my favorite scene in this production...I miss her as him.
6.) NYTR publisher Brook Stowe making my day with this post in his guest stint at Playgoer. When he saw the show, he was kindly enigmatic afterwards, and being one of those rare and good people you never want to disappoint, I spiraled into self-flagellation for failing him as a playwright. Luckily, I am saving some of that torment for the next play...
7.) Michael "Miracle" Davis - when moving from our rehearsal space to the performance venue, we thought we could wheel the set over, only the wheels decided to disagree. Designer Jason Paradine and I then attempted to lift the not-so-light set ourselves, and just as my arms were about to quit, mighty Michael emerged and helped us bring the sucker safely home to CSV. A photographer took a picture of us, and I can only imagine it's posted somewhere in this web of ours with a snappy caption underneath.
8.) Patrick Lee's continued insightful reviewing - he is right about that troublesome second act, but I appreciate him accepting its direction while acknowledging the distance its current manifestation has to go before it is all the way right (if such a destination exists). Patrick is one of my favorite reviewers, and his Just Shows To Go You a daily read.
9.) Well, there's so much more to say - Asa's extraordinary sound design, Jason being Jason, Tiffany and Hannah's tag team on the costumes, Kelly stepping up as an ASM, so many things to be grateful for and learn from that I'll just say THANKS, and caps means I'm serious.
10.) But the biggest thing I (the playwright) have to be grateful for is the chance to fail a little without falling completely. Ultimately, the challenges we faced were of my own creation - too busy with directing Midsummer to properly finish rewriting Other Bodies - and while the designers and actors were remarkable at rolling with the kicks, and I believe it was a good production that mattered to those who wanted to go on its unique journey; I know I could've done better. This play has troubled me more than any play I've written. How lucky am I to be a part of an Ensemble that runs with it anyway, part of a theatre community that is willing to wrestle with a challenging play, part of a country where I can write strange things and have strangers sit with me in the dark and listen.
Thank you to everyone who saw the show, and everyone who made working on it such a joy.