Friday, January 4, 2008

So it begins

I am 20 minutes late for the playwright/directors meeting that started at 9:00am. I couldn't find my blood pressure pills - and of all the days, this is not the one to skip them. And then parking... but anyone who's doing 14/48 or coming to 14/48 knows all about parking problem. So the one-on-one meetings are already underway.

Scotto and Meghan Arnette are sequestered in a corner. He looks happy. Brian Neel has a crazed/tired look in his eye that I completely recognize. SP is getting a bagel or something while her director reads her script. I see Alan Bryce going over a script alone at the bar. I'm looking around for someone looking for me but everyone seems pretty much busy. So I find Jodi-Paul and ask him. Aimee Bruneau has been assigned to my script.

I really admire Aimee's work and I'm glad to get her. She is what I would call a serious person. Her questions for me are geniune and she listens to my answers. A playwright is sometimes looking for enthusiasm from a director after the first readthrough. I'm looking for serious and genuine questions. Aimee asks me to sum up each character in a nutshell. She has the most trouble with "Zack." I tell her he's a youngest child which I realize is not very helpful if you didn't have siblings. Then I find myself telling her that the play for me is about the disappointment of discovering that you're traditional and mundane - that you're really just like everyone else. I hate revealing things about myself in my writing or in discussing my writing. I feel like I'm in the middle of the gym shower room and my towel just fell off.

Dante, the prop/set coordinator, comes by to do a director check. She refers to my play as "the one with the house." It's always funny to hear your work reduced to a phrase by someone with a narrow focus. The play with the house. That's what I should have named it.

David Tucker and Anthony Winkler are sitting across the table from me and Aimee as we talk. It's impossible to really pay attention to what other playwrights and directors are talking about but I do see that it's an animated conversation. Later, I'm horrified to see David scribbling re-writes on a scrap of paper. It's one thing I've never done at 14/48. I'd rather have them rewrite it during the rehearsal than try to touch the thing on 3 hours of sleep and half a donut. But David explains the rewrites to me and I see that he's feeling good about it.

Actors are showing up. The drawing of actor names is about to happen. The energy in this room is so different from last night. Where last night felt like the beginning of a fun reunion, this morning feels like lacing up the boots and checking for supplies before heading up the trail. Artists in preparation mode - it's kind of a beautiful thing. And this is where we are when Teri Lazarra is given the Mazen Award for her contributions to 14/48 in the past - it's a lovely moment, especially when she and Shawn Belyea open mouth kiss.

Becky Hellyer - 14/48 writer

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