I've had an interesting week of connecting with people. I guess it's interesting to me because most days, I'm alone. Sometimes, this results in a feeling of loneliness but many times, it's nice to be the sole director of my time. Besides, I listen incessantly to NPR so it's like I have friends. Friends that won't let me get a word in edgewise, but friends nonetheless.
Last weekend, Brian and I went to Chicago to celebrate his 40th Bday (which actually occurred on New Year's Eve). A couple of friends met us there and we had a great weekend of blues, brews and theater. For those who participated in Theme Thursday last week, Buddy Guy did NOT play his polka dot guitar but that was the most disappointing thing that happened all weekend. I saw 2 plays--one at Steppenwolf and one at LookingGlass--and ate good, fresh food, and drank good, fresh beer, and saw good, fresh blues.
And, I also got to meet Brian's girlfriend from High School who moved out to Chicago years ago. She and her husband came to dinner with us on Saturday night (at AntePrima, highly recommended if you go to the Windy City). It was a neat reconnection for Brian and a new connection for me.
When I got back, I had drinks with some friends from People's Light and Theater Company where I worked when I first moved down here. It's out in the suburbs so it's difficult to connect with them sometimes. Every so often, the stars align and we meet for drinks and catch up. It's so much fun chatting with them because they know everyone in the theater world so we gossip a bit and catch up with each other as well. We had a interesting discussion about talk-backs or post-show discussions. At Steppenwolf in Chicago, they have a talk-back after every performance but without the actors. Someone from the theater moderates a discussion about the play itself. I was impressed with how the audience articulated so clearly their feelings about the play (American Buffalo). Theaters in Philly have post-show discussion with the actors which often leads to questions like, "Was learning the accent difficult?" Not statements like, "It shocked me when Teach brought out the gun in the last scene, I felt that the stakes really rose at that point."
Closer to home, I had coffee today with some ladies from the library I worked at for all of about 8 months. I had taken a part-time job because I didn't know I'd be stage managing that much, I had only one gig lined up at that point. Luckily, for me, the Arden and I seem to be getting along just fine so I quit the library. Not before, however, I met some cool ladies who like to write and drink coffee (among other things). They do coffee every 6 months or so and every time I go, I meet someone new and interesting.
And, the final person I met today was the director for Romeo and Juliet which goes into rehearsals in 2 weeks. I like meeting the director before the first rehearsal in order to understand how he/she likes to run things. He wanted to reach out to me (and everyone in the cast) so that we all understand that he likes and open and supportive rehearsal process. Suits me just fine.
Okay, I have to add how much fun I had listening to this director--Matt Pfeiffer-- describe his vision for Romeo and Juliet. His face lit up as he talked about Shakespeare's Verona, a place that didn't ever exist except in Shakespeare's head for he certainly had never gone to Italy. He has stripped the play down to tell the story of the star-crossed lovers who teach us that love is the most important of all emotions; that it really does conquer all.
Tonight, we might have some friends over to play cards. Just one more in a long string of connections this week. After tonight though, I might be craving some alone time.
Well, some alone time along with my friends from NPR. I just wish they would let me talk.