Monday, March 19, 2007

Signs: Part I

I extend my apologies to scribes and cinephiles that happened by thinking there might be something about M. Night Shama-lama-ding-dong's film in this post. Nope. This is a post of a more personal nature. So bear with me or go back to your Google search and try again.

As insomnia strikes again, I find myself at the PC with the need to document a series of events whose relevance may end up being nil. But I will let you be the judge.

First, it is important that you know that I am a true believer that signs are everywhere and that your receptiveness to them depends on a state of being. With that, I would like to share with you the unfolding of some recent events.

In the past year I have found myself immersed in the life of the theatre and have been loving every minute of it. I knew that once I started again that I would not be able to quit. Theatre is my drug - the people, the production, the art. I grew up in the theatre. My father was a Professor of Theatre & English at the University of Pittsburgh during my formative years. I spent many years as a rehearsal tagalong and saw many plays that were beyond my years. As a result, I have a solid knowledge of the art as a whole.

Over the course of the past year, I have had the occasion to meet some interesting and talented people. I have to say that theatre people are as diverse and insane as they come. Those of you who are thespians know this. There is one person that resonated for a couple of reasons. Through various conversations, I got to know about this person and various aspects of his life. This gentleman is about a decade my senior and he would often talk of his two daughters. Over the course of time I learned that he was divorced and was raising his daughters and that his ex-wife was an alcoholic.

My parents were divorced when I was 6 and my sister was 3. My father retained custody of us and, as it would happen, my mother's alcoholism played a significant role over the years. She is now, thankfully, in recovery.

During conversations with this person you will find yourself mired in fancy words and would be fairly certain to hear a casual name dropped at least once an evening.

My father was an English teacher for crying out loud. Vocabulary was not taken lightly in our home (I think I posted a while back about my love of words...) And I can think of so many names that have been dropped over the years - all of which I believe to and/or have experienced to be legitimate.

A common discussion had in the theatre is about shows you'd like to do, roles you'd like to play and shows that you have already done. This actor was practically salivating as he talked about approaching the ideal age to play Dysart in Equus.

My father directed the Pennsylvania premiere of Equus at the Pitt, where he played the role of Dysart. My father resurrected that role in the late 80s for Seventh Sign Theatre in NYC (see aforementioned note about seeing plays beyond my years).

This actor played Don Quixote in Man of LaMancha.

My father and I auditioned for a production of Proof in Ridgefield and when my father received his "no thank you" call, they asked him if he would consider auditioning for their upcoming production of Man of LaMancha.

This man is an art framer.

My father's current wife is an artist and curator for Sacred Heart University.

This person is interested in directing an obscure show written by Lanford Wilson, in which, he said, there is a role suited for me.

My father once intereviewed Lanford Wilson (see aforementioned namedropping note).

As they always do, closing night for this production came followed by the typical mandatory strike the next morning. About an hour before I left for the theater I received a call from my father telling me that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

So what does this mean?

Perhaps nothing. But there have been other signs... Which I won't divulge just yet. In the meantime, there are some other interesting theatre notes that I'm going to share because they may end up being relevant.

  1. This year I was supposed to direct Extremities at TBTA but we were unable to procure the rights. At the last minute we decided to do The Diviners, the very first full-length show I directed.
  2. Musicals at Richter is doing On The Twentieth Century, which the very first musical I was ever in. On a recent trip business trip, I was driving home from the airport listening to the soundtrack when a truck happened by with the letters MAR spray-painted on the tailgate. I desperately wanted to audition for the role of Lily but have to secede to my husband's "it's my turn" argument.
There you have it. That may be the end of my tale but I suspect it is not... We shall see. Strange that these are the thoughts that clutter my brain.

And I wonder why I have insomnia...

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