So it's prep week for my next show. My only show this season at the Arden. I'm so very excited about it and a bit nervous. The show is Superior Donuts by Tracy Letts who is a playwright and actor from Chicago. He works closely with Steppenwolf Theatre there. He was just in a production of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? that the New York Times just raved about. I actually saw him on stage when I was in Chicago a year ago. He was in David Mamet's American Buffalo. It was a good production probably a great one. I'm not so sure. I don't really get Mamet's male-angst plays, although I think he's a good writer. David Mamet. And Tracy Letts for that matter.
Tracy Letts wrote August: Osage County for which he won the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. So we can safely say he doesn't suck. Superior Donuts is the play he wrote after August: Osage County. It was a huge hit in Chicago. It did go to Broadway, but I'm not sure how it did there. Probably very well. Arthur is an older man who owns a decrepit donut shop called, you guessed it, Superior Donuts. Franco, a young black man, becomes his employee. It's about their relationship and the redemptive power of friendship. It's hard to describe it without going into a long essay. Trust me when I say the script is so good.
I'm nervous. Not so much about the show itself because once we get going, it'll be pretty simple on my end. There's one fight, a couple of quick changes, and donuts. The fight is between two older men who don't know how to fight so that should be interesting. The director, Ed Sobel was the dramaturg on this show at Steppenwolf and on Broadway. He knows the show inside and out. It'll be great to work with him. But I guess that's what scares me a little. I need to be on top of my game because he already is.
The set for this show is at an angle and very difficult to tape out. See, for the rehearsal room, I tape an outline of the set on the floor so actors know where doors are, where the edge of the stage is, etc. Not that it helps them a lot. Actors are famous for getting to the real set and saying, "Hey, I didn't know there was a wall here." It's been a challenge to tape this floor and I'm still not quite done. I'm leaving a few things to finish with my assistant because it's easier to do with two. I hate having things not quite done; it just adds to the nerves.
Aside from taping I've been chatting with props and costumes, e mailing the cast, collecting office supplies. Now all I need are some actors, a director and rehearsals.
Wish me luck!