Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dress Rehearsal



David Lee the author of this play had been given the wrong theme before he started writing. Chasmin Hallyburton had told him the theme was Traditions rather than Transitions. He started writing at 2am and the final draft seems to fit the intended theme perfectly anyway. Play in a day works in strange and twisted ways.

Beth Marshall came out to the courtyard after lunch with some touristy clothing on hangers. She had a black mu-mu for John Connon who was going to play her. She gave him her necklace and he was given a big red wig and as the crowning touch, a Mickey Mouse beanie. Sarah Lockhard had a bright orange T-shirt that said, "Aqua Girl." She was given a Stitch hat with floppy alien ears and a tiny Stitch head hanging from a chord. The fact that I had worked on Lilo and Stitch when I was at Disney Feature Animation warmed my heart. Stitch is as much a pop icon as Mickey now. Being the youngest member of the cast Sarah had fun playing a spunky child. Steven Middleton had his own costume picked out. His loud Hawaiian shirt had palm trees and a bright sunset against the bright blue design.

Beth wanted John to have her tattoos so I stepped in and painted the tattoos in watercolor on his arms and feet. His right arm had an intricate spiraling ivy pattern festooned with leaves and a spade. His left arm had an owl and each foot had a tattoo. I simplified the designs since I knew they would be seen from a distance. He was a little worried at how permanent they might be but I assured him they would wash right off. Watercolor always washes off my skin easily. Clothing on the other hand...

I watched the actors rehearse again and again till the play was second nature. Sarah grew more animated and energetic with each pass. Though I heard this short play perhaps 20 to 4o times, I always found something fresh and unexpected in each performance that made me laugh. When there was a line that said, "We're traveling light, no props Missy." John looked at his non-existent cigarette with disdain. Sarah discovered the sunroof as she shouted, "I AM a seagull." Extending her wings in the wind.


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