August 23rd, 2004

Ghost Light

More Spam Poetry

I was getting a little nostalgic for this former regular feature of my journal and right on time this little piece of mana dropped into my mailbox....

flee christlike ye silly sourberry corinth leigh night begun
Ghost Light


We survived the weekend. I think it was the strongest 24-hr theatre has ever been.
The theme for the first night's was art objects created by Dawson's step-dad.
Ann Reddig's was definitely the oddest - a salmon lying in what looked like a bowl of jello or ice with a cardinal trapped at the bottom of the bowl. From that came a piece that was half a mythic telling of the "famous" legend of the eagle and the salmon and half a modern story about a family keeping a red, round 400# thing in the bedroom. (Highlight: Elle and Nick played both the kids in the family and the eagle and the salmon. As they reached the part of the myth about them swimming off to Hawaii to spawn, the mother is standing on stage yelling "Get back here! No way in hell, that's your brother!!")
Shane Mitchell got an all-white Humpty Dumpty jack-in-the-box which led to an all-white show about a woman talking to a theatre owner. The whole thing was a metaphor for God. That was the interesting prop show too - we had to track down a cell phone that rang The Muppet Show theme. (Highlight: Rodney, who played God, telling everyone at the after party "My favorite part of the show. My pants. You know when God is wearing high waters everyone is in for a world of hurt.")
Peter Porco got a shadow box of a crumpled calendar. From that we got a play about a man with attachment issues trying turn back time and fix the relationships he's had in the past with June, Julia and Augusta. (Highlight: walking into the rehearsal just as Leif is being put face down on my bed, which has leather cuffs tied to all 4 posts now, with Krista and Ericka holding his hands and Christina sitting on top of him with a whip. The director took one look at me and could not stop laughing)
Mark's was my favorite, of course. He got an utterly fucked up family wedding portrait in grainy black and white and launched a play about the Mark of Cain based on what looks like a smudge or a third eye on the groom's forehead. From that came an oddly Biblical tale complete with an avenging angel. (Highlight: being woken up at 4 am to read the finished product)

That first day was amazing. It was prop-easy day, aside from Shane's show needing all white everything and the cell phone. The rest of it were things like a playpen, rocking chair, bed, leather restraints, a whip, Forrest's luggage, turkey feathers and userinfogeolinguist's patio furniture. All the directors wanted a lot of sound, though, Chronos Quartet, Native American themes and so on. The scary part was that there was a concert in the space until about 15 minutes before we opened so we didn't have any tech rehearsal. userinfoscooterpbakes
burned all of them onto one CD, I worked through the light cues as fast as I could (with Dawson coming into the booth to ask things like "Can we let the audience in now and just warn them that you are still playing with the lights?"). The show came 90% out of my ass and it was one of the most satisfying nights of theatre I have ever had.

Sunday's plays were inspired by things Dawson's mom had around the house.
Schatzie Schaffer got a strange CD carrier shaped purse from China and created a story about a couple in therapy with a Greek Chorus and highlighted Morgan as "Art". He was supposed to be a statue in a gallery wearing nothing but a loincloth. (Highlight: During tech rehearsal "Okay...there's your Stage left light, there is a sort of center wash that will work for your main scene and Morgan's bare ass." He had been wearing white shorts and didn't warn anyone before going commando)
Mark Robokoff wrote a wonderfully ambitious piece about an advertising company selling Eminem-style jingles. It was inspired by a frou-frou ceramic vase of all things. (Highlight: When asking the client what the topic is the Pastor replies "Umm.....God." "It's okay, take your time.")
Linda Billington got a little crystal ball on a stand and used it to tell a Shanghai Knights-style story about a librarian being set straight about the true-life exploits of his favorite literary outlaw. (Highlight: The outlaw hitting on the Irish juggler who insists he's not her type. "What is your type?" A girl in a tightrope walker costume walks in. "This is my type" and the girls kiss)
Mark Muro brought what I thought was the piece with the most balls. It was wonderful absurdism and featured my husband AND userinfokahteeyah in her Anchorage stage debut. It was inspired by a stuffed squirrel and featured 2 "Beaters" and a girl dressing up the stuffed squirrel like it is getting ready for its first day of school. To day any more would be a disservice. The whole thing was a highlight.

People were a lot easier on the sound side, but they wanted more out of lights. Luckily we got the whole afternoon to rehearse so I could do some fun things. The props were more complicated - a coat rack and a pair of 6-shooters were the major pains, but they also wrote things like a horn and other musical instruments, 2 banjos (or 1 guitar and 1 banjo), juggling pins, sheet music, a belly dancer's outfits, dress-up clothes for the squirrel, a conference table (which ended up being the headache for the day - having all the time to work on tech made the director a little picky and we couldn't find one to his liking so he got a crate and a sheet) and a sneaker with a can of beer in it. Nothing like the wheelchair, shark hat, captains wheel and harpoon play from last winter, thank god.

Mark has been telling everyone he is having the best weekend ever. His play was great, he did a perfect job in Muro's play, he got a great part in Mid-Summer, his play is being staged at the museum on Tuesday AND he has an audition for a musical he really wants to do on Wednesday. I'm still waiting to hear about getting an interview for The Job, but they promised it will be this week when I called.