“In the living room of the farmhouse, the television flickers on as an emergency broadcast message begins transmission. Everyone stops what they are doing and lean forward, hungry for what information will follow. They need someone to tell them what to do, where to go, what to think. Their fate hangs in the balance of what they are told…”
It has been a few weeks since I have let you in on the goings on at the farmhouse. The reasons for this are purely coincidental. In addition to directing our show, I have also put together a Cole Porter review for Creative Cauldron at ArtSpace Falls Church that opens this week, and I am also co-directing and co-choreographer of it. I am also still in performances of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas at Signature Theatre, but I was thrown for a loop last week. I fractured two of my toes during the matinee last Sunday. I finished out the shows that day, and have been out of the show since. I hope to return tomorrow, depending on how it feels. So, as you can imagine, I have been resting and recovering this past week.
Rehearsals have been clipping along, and at this point, we have almost finished blocking the entire show. The only things that remain are a few solo songs. Soon we will be in a place to stumble through the show and see what we have. Working on a new musical is always challenging. I have had my share of experiences with it as an actor at Signature Theatre. I have rarely been on this side of the table while working on a new show. Lines are cut and amended on the spot, and sequences are re-tailored to fit what we are doing, staging wise.
The cast, my co-director, my music director, my stage manager…everyone has been fantastic at rolling with the flow as it morphs and finds its way to what it needs to be. All of the analogies are correct…it IS child birth. And our child is a stubborn and wild child, who we are still trying to get to do what we say. Every day we get a little closer, and I know that by the time we open, we will have found our way there. But as they say, it is indeed a process. Having amazing supporting staff and amazing actors helps immensely, though.
Till next we visit the farmhouse,
Please stand by…
Stephen Gregory Smith
Read the other articles in Letters from the Living Dead:
All photos by Stephen Gregory Smith.