Tonight is preemptively one of my favorite nights.
As I’ve been annoying everyone with for weeks, I’m… busy. The busiest I have been in my entire life. It’s terrifying and glorious and aside from missing my wife and cats terribly – this is the dream. It’s rare you are allowed to see such things as they happen but today sums up this period in my life. Tonight I will be onstage as Dr. Royer-Collard, the moral center (ha!) of Different Stages’ Quills at City Theatre, Cambiare is presenting Mariah MacCarthy’s All About a Boy as part of the Frontera Fest short fringe (tickets!), and the lovely and talented Dan Solomon has written a very flattering profile that appears in this week’s Austin Chronicle.
All this on a night off from rehearsing Poor Shadows of Elysium’s Richard II and in the same week that 7 Towers Theatre company announced their upcoming production of Pillowman which I will be in somehow.
It’s a pretty great time to be me.
A million years ago I started writing a theatre blog to explicate what I want to be as a theatre artist… the sort of art I wanted to take part in or support and the aesthetic that I wanted to champion. But as my wife will tell you, I have no idea what I want or what makes me happy. It drives her crazy.
There hasn’t been a plan. For me or long term for Cambiare. My time in Austin was supposed to be temporary and I forgot to ever adjust my thinking to what I could accomplish here. Much like my office in the new house – I never really unpacked, I just sort of starting going with one eye on the exit. I never set my feet and really rooted and it led to me missing something that I already knew. Something that was, quite frankly the reason Cambiare started in the first place.
If no one is doing the thing you need doing?
You’re the one who needs to be doing it.
I jump started Cambiare because there wasn’t a company in town that would do Transformations and it deserved doing, and because not enough people knew how good Will Hollis Snider is at theatre.
We’ve done an okay job with the things we’ve made, but as Mr. Solomon pointed out in the profile… work has been pretty thin on the ground. All About a Boy is indeed a step in a direction Will and I have talked about: simply workshopping more rather than letting our uninstitutional lack of resources mean that we disappear for 18 months. We need to evangelize for writers and texts we love – that I love.
Because Mr. Solomon nails it (just about: I added an “else”)
Ultimately, it may have taken the promise of leaving town to turn Bedard into the sort of Austin theatremaker that he’s been waiting for someone [else] to become. But at least, finally, he’s bringing the conversation out of the Internet and onto the stage.
All About a Boy is the sort of project I think ADs should be doing.
It’s not my story. It’s not my STYLE of story. It may actually be the opposite of the sort of theatre we would make for ourselves. But Mariah MacCarthy is a compelling writer who makes plays that need to be seen on their feet. There is something about her writing that is alive when actors breathe it… but you have to see that to know it.
And someone has to show you.
I will try to be better about showing not telling.
Let’s all keep digging into the best work we can find and make sure the world knows about it. I’m sorry I haven’t been doing it all along.