My first commissioned play, Milky Way taught me alot about collaboration, about writing for specific actors (which I love), about the pressures of creating a piece, from scratch, specifically for production.
The process taught me that I have a lot to learn and that there's a lot of work ahead of me to reach many of my goals. But I love learning, so that's fine with me.
I had the pleasure of working with some truly wonderful people who will have my respect forever. Lindsay Krieg, mindy beers, and Andrew Beal of the Cardboard Box continued to show their vision and undying passion for creating theatre from the ground-up that will stand forever.
[photo of: Amazing Arnie (Daniel Higbee), Little Alice (Brenna Schiman), and Travlin' Alice (Cherie A. Roberts). Design by Stephen Hungerford (set and lights), Andrew J. Merkel (lights) and Jamie Grace-Duff (costumes)].
I also continue to enjoy my on-going collaboration with director Andrew J. Merkel. I feel lucky to have found such a strong director who believes in my work, and who shares the same theatrical brain. It is just a matter of time before he and I take over the world.
The production itself was its own journey that started slowly, but had me feeling very proud by the end of it.
We opened to a very small opening-night house (seven people) and struggled through a performance dogged by some technical difficulties (blown dimmers, failed gunshots) and performative set-backs (opening night jitters, trouble with lines). However-- we closed to a sold-out audience and gave them one of my favorite performances EVER of one of my plays. The amount of distance we covered during these eight performances was immense-- almost as impressive a distance as the one in which Travlin' Alice traverses during the actual play (she travels 21 years, backwards, by portaling through four black holes).
Closing night made me believe in this play and its ability to move an audience in a very theatrical and strange way. Huge thank yous again to the creative team for making this happen. Awesome awesome work all around.
It is my hope that this play will continue its life beyond this experience. I think there is magic inside of this work that I hope to continue to share. And I know there is still a lot of work for me to do on this play to make it into the masterpiece that I want it to be.
[Photo of Buzz (Steven Wright) and Charlotte (Katy O'Leary)]
In the meantime, I feel highly satisfied with and incredibly grateful for this experience. This experience alternately flattened, encouraged, flattened, taught, encouraged, flattened, and encouraged me. And I feel very much like I'm a much better artist and person because of my journey through the Milky Way with these people and this process.
Thank you all.