Wednesday, March 7, 2007

tech is the perfect time to blog

from Linda Essig, lighting designer...

7:20 pm Tuesday. Well….it's dress/tech and I’m having déjà vu – unfortunately, the scene that’s replaying is from 1985 when I was working with a new generation of lighting control consoles that would crash if you breathed wrong. Somebody breathed wrong tonight! The console crashed and then the headsets went nuts. The two very nice house electricians are rebooting, logging in and out, and rebooting again….but my fear is that all my cues will be lost! Yes, yes, yes, they’re all backed up to disk (a luxury we didn’t always have in 1985) so we’ll get back to it eventually but I feel badly for the company because we’re losing a lot of the theatres most precious commodity – time!

Ron’s been after me to contribute to this blog, and here’s my opportunity. I wish I didn’t have it! (Alexis is re-booting again…..wait with me while I hold my breath……..). There seems to be some connection between the light board problem and the headset problem. I’ve already been here from almost 12 hours and would really like to move forward so I can get home and get a good night’s sleep before I have to do my worknotes tomorrow.

What are worknotes, you may ask? Those are little (or sometimes big) changes or fixes I need to make before the actors take the stage for their 10-hour-out-of-12-hour rehearsal that starts at 11am tomorrow. So far, I know I have to hang a light for Matthew’s opening night curtain speech, and make sure there is no light hitting the cable the chandelier is hanging from. I wish I had had the chandelier in place when the lights were focused but I didn’t, c’est la vie. (c’est la vie, déjà vu, I wonder why we use these French phrases… ne sais pas.)

8:00pm – WE’RE BACK!!!! And, none of my cues --- except the last one I was working on --- were lost. And now, back to work……

Monday, March 5, 2007


On the whole, this is a joyful experience. But I do have a few suggestions:

Richard: Stop making me laugh.

Kerry: Stop being so professional...makes me look bad. And would it kill you to drop a line?

April: Stop anticipating our needs. Leaves me nothing to bitch about.

Ron: Stop being right. But....Don't stop the Ronspeak. When you say "...this is a moment of full frontal happiness," or "gesture with your donut hand," or "give me a mental 'ummm," or... my personal favorite, "Here, all your skin is being boiled off," I know exactly what you're looking for!!!

Janice: Stop being so good at your job. My philosophy is...candid photos should always be posed.

Matthew: Can't say "stop" to the boss. But... just so you know; You used to scare me to death. Now, not so much.

Erica: Stop not coming around. Miss you.

Other random thoughts:
Richard Dresser is funny. And challenging to play.

Ron and Kerry are scary together ..... Ron says "fur ball," and Kerry says "Oh, is that a pork chop moment? Can do." (This actually makes sense, to them.)

Note to Ron.... if Richard gets a theme song, so do Kerry and I, okay? I want "Stand By Your Man" and Kerry wants... well, I don't know. Something I haven't heard of, I'm sure. Pleeeeeeese no hip-hop. (or is that already yesterday?) Sigh.

April has stopped smoking!!! HUGE GOLD STAR! For those of you who may not know... that's the hardest thing to do in life!

Except comedy.

patti suarez (playing Molly)

Friday, March 2, 2007

from a short fat little Mexican

this has been a thoroughly wonderful process. While we are still not there it feels good to know where we still need to go--and, now--what that might also look like. Dresser’s work is not easy to do. It’s hard to describe, but you can feel it when it works. His unconventional style is definitely a journey to navigate, but the results can be relentlessly funny.

Ron may is the real thing when it comes to directors. This guy is good. He’s smart, humble, open and yet is very decisive when he sees something work. Good directors aren’t afraid to be wrong and great directors transcend. Ron is taking us on a very cool journey. I trust him--like crazy.

Patti is amazing. She is sooo open and willing to try anything--a pure artist. It’s pretty cool to share the stage with her. I am still looking forward to the coming final weekend of rehearsal growing deeper into the character relationships as we continue to discover.

I hope this is a pro breakout for kerry mccue. She’s good. Real good. Its fun working a scene with her. She’s there. And I mean there. Moment to moment. Connected. Strong. What a joy!!

We are all lucky to have April in the room. What great insight and understanding of the process--an actors and directors dream to have in the rehearsal room. She gets it from all angles--the full circle of what it takes to make it all work.

I’ll blog again next week as we get closer to go time.
Rock n’ roll doggie
- Richard Trujillo

guest blog from Janice Sweeter - Director of Marketing

We are excited to see Augusta taking shape as we head into Tech next week and Preview next Friday. Ron, please breathe. So he could focus on the work on stage - and you could have new stuff to read, here is an overview of the cool stuff I heard at the Meet and Greet a few weeks ago and then again at the uber-fun First Rehearsal Party where I learned more interesting tidbits about Augusta and the artists who are bringing it to life. I also learned a physics lesson that a recently used Sterno can is hot and if the lid is not on tight - it can pop several feet in the air landing precariously close to one's face - but we heard that several people enjoyed the hot pasta with a spicy bite from Sam's Cafe. Now, I wonder if this will spark a Youtube frenzy of videos like the ones with the COKE bottles and the mentos. Talk about a science experiment! Speaking of Youtube, did you know we have sneak peeks of rehearsal scenes of the amazing cast on our website and on Youtube? Check 'em out and let us know what you think. and

So back to behind the scenes of Augusta - Matthew Wiener described it as a lovely mix of old guard and new guard with several familiar faces, new faces and one familiar face with a new role. Matthew has worked with Richard Trujillo in several Actors Theatre productions over the past 19 years. Patti Davis Suarez was in several Actors Theatre shows including the recent smash hit Nickel and Dimed. Augusta is Kerry's first time acting in an Actors Theatre play and Ron's first time directing for us.

We all know Ron's terrific talents as Artistic Director for Stray Cat and the occasional acting role I hope you got a chance to see Energizer Bunny Kerry McCue die with heartbreaking pathos in 4.48 Psychosis and other powerful roles with Stray Cat. Ron is also still managing Audience Services stuff for Actors Theatre - thank you for your patience with voicemail and email responses. See you at the theatre for Opening Night next Saturday!

- Janice

PS If you attended the First Rehearsal Party, please let us know what you thought of the evening. Was it your first or second time or are you a regular? If you'd like more info on them, let us know.