Posted by: raesalley | January 27, 2006

into the rabbit hole

…down is up and up is down. read this when the below post doesn’t make a darn bit of sense

It was late. Or rather, it was early but only early if you lived the normal rat-race kind of life style. The individuals who paid my paycheck on a daily basis were just starting to get up and go off to the gym while I was just thinking about crashing for the night. In the early pre-dawn hours of a blissful early spring day, I got ready to crash out thinking about the previous twenty-four hours.

It had been a good day, all in all. The show had been written in-house and was directed by one of our own. The cast was fully local, as was the design team. This made it fairly easy to make al lthe necessary adjustments all the way through the production schedule. So when yesterday dawned our final dress rehearsal, the final show of the inaugural season was in good shape and it actually was pretty good.

That’s not to say that there weren’t snags. After all, if it had been perfect we all would have been worrying about what would happen for opening. You can’t have a perfect show the night before opening. It’s just…superstition…but why chance it? And it gave us a reason to be out all hours of the night yet again. After things were fixed, there was a small celebration to be had.

The core group of people had come a long way to make all this work. We could remember sitting around snowed in Pennsylvania towns in college together. The quiet fun had with a good cigar and a glass of some fine alcohol while discussing what we had just seen together. Followed by talking about silly dreams for the future. Who knew we’d actually be able to pull it off? But after years of working in our separate fields in our separate cities, chance brought us all back together. And over another round of drinks after another production, things started coming together.

First, there was the building that had been found. It was perfect for what we wanted…and because of its historical status, it hadn’t been destroyed…but nobody wanted to make the investment to restore it. Mostly because they didn’t realize what could be done with it…but we could see it in the bones of the architecture. And with a few phone calls to the right person in Philly, we had permission and drawings and a licensed architect making sure we didn’t screw up. The first year was a little hard as we spent days trying to put the building together the way we wanted it and nights working in our separate fields. I was always running to rehearsal right after the end of day discussion and they wouldn’t see me again until mid-morning. The guys kept themselves busy with their own devices. We all kind of lost a year of our personal lives, but luckily the rugrats are too young to remember how much I ditched them.

After the building restoration came the finding of folks to work with. I’d conned a director from another production company while the guys did a lot of the initial design work. Actors were found that were daring enough to try a different theater and soon people started to come – if for no other reason to see what we’d done to the place. But they stayed for the art, which was cool with us. After a show here and a show there, we finally had enough of a reputation and funding to try a full season. By now, the guys each had their own crews – Nicoli was off running the technical side while Jay ruled supreme in the kitchen.

Our first season was only three shows…but each one had been packed with learning experiences and eventually audiences. This last one had sold out opening night and tonight would tell how well that went. But for now, sleep. D was due to get up in a bit and have breakfast with me before he went off to work. But definately sleep.


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