Things got even better though, as sometimes happens in this fair city, because I was introduced to a new step in the play development process, thanks to Abstract Sentiment Theatre Co.
Whilst I fundamentally disagree with spelling theater with the "e" and "r" reversed (Jamie disagrees), I love Abstract's approach to development.
I showed up at "The Bridge" -- a great little performance space in Shetler Studios, thinking I was going to see a workshop presentation. Instead, I walked in on a rather intense rehearsal already in progress.
SIDE BAR, YOUR HONOR ...
1) I don't like walking in on anything already in progress, but I was there early, so I didn't realize.
2) Actors, directors and playwrights can be a little freaky about strangers in the rehearsal room. I don't personally care, but there are those who do so I try to avoid being said stranger.
NOW, BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED BLOG POST ...
So, I walked in on this rehearsal. I tried to slip out, but it was too late. Sam spotted me and came over. Veronika King, one of the Abstract ... ers, came over. I spotted Christopher Kloko, a great actor I've had the opportunity to work with a couple of times during the development of Hal Corley's Convergence. Basically, I disrupted everything.
The flopsweats kicked in. I slinked (slunk? slank? skulked? squirmed?) to a seat and tried to disappear. For the next four hours I watched the Abstracts run Mr. Graber's play through it's paces. This was Day Two of the process -- eight hours total in a rehearsal room for a draft version of a play? As a playwright, I got chills. As a director, my mind started racing. As a producer, I thought "This is seriously F*in' cool.
We hand new plays over to actors and a director for an open reading every month -- and I think there's value for the playwright in hearing his work and getting feedback, but this was that on steriods. Sam had the chance to hear AND watch his play come to life in fits and starts, like it was actually getting ready to put it's performance suit on. Now, he has time to work before the pressure of actual rehearsals kick in.
I'm in love ... with a process.
Thanks you Abstract Sentiment. I owe you one.