I’m all “aflutter” because rehearsals for our September 11th performance have begun, as they say, “in ernest”. We meet once-a-week and the cast is so committed it’s not funny. I’ve gotta be on my A-Game with them —- there’s no half-steppin’ whatsoever. I told someone it’s like working with people who’ve seen or been abducted by aliens and now, many years later, they have the chance to tell the full story. Not only are we performing at Hopkins but we’re also confirmed for Dec. 5th, 6th and 7th at Center Stage.
From left to right: Jim Perry, Jeremy Paris, Susie Cooper, KarinHaapala-Rodney and just out of sight is (I believe) Tracy Miller. We’re up in Sommer Hall (where we’ll be performing) at Hopkins School of Public Health. Just to give you an idea how big our space is, here are Leanne Bledsoe (left) and her buddy Maureen Stewart. I can’t stress enough how helpful and excited everyone is.
And Aisha Dacosta (below) stops by the Veterans Artist Program booth at Artscape. We had many, many people stop by, and they were very inquisitive about “Telling” and VAP. I was quite surprised at the level of interest and concern expressed by folks. With the script we have, I know this will be a very cathartic experience for cast and audience. As the Director, I feel like I’m handling something profoundly sacred. Moreso than anything I’ve created as a Playwright, these stories represent lives and service that we — outside the military — can’t begin to fathom. I told the cast that what really weaves the production together isn’t the service aspect, it’s about the messyness of their regular lives outside the military and how they struggle to keep both afloat. They’re very receptive to having an exhibit of their artwork (in whatever form it takes) accompany the show. I’m meeting with Chris Henry, my favorite keyboardist, this week to look for places in the script for music. Not full songs, but moments where music can enhance and linger. And that’s where we are right now.