Mysteriously, my last blog post disappeared. So I’m back again, to try and recall what was said last time, and give everyone a quick update.
COUNTDOWN: 6 days!
I can’t believe how fast this process has flown by. Only six days until the public sees Behind Bars, a play that has been a complete emotional journey. I never thought when I started playwrighting class fall term that Behind Bars would be produced. Writing the play in itself was a very personal process and has forced me to delve deep into a lot of issues I’ve had to deal with in my own life. But they were issues I felt needed to be shared. And that is why I wanted to be involved in the Spring One Act Festival: to spread a message. Although I’m still very nervous as to how the public will respond, I am proud of what I have created.
The director of Behind Bars, Alex Johnston, has been a huge part in that creative process. Without him, this production would not be possible. His vision has brought my words to life, and I’m extremely grateful. I also have my actors to thank. They have spent so much time and effort into memorizing lines and putting Behind Bars on its feet.
The rehearsal process has been interesting, to say the least. I have never been involved in the One Act Festival before, so I didn’t know what to expect from the rehearsal process. The most difficult part has been finding spaces to actually rehearse. While I would love to claim the main stage for rehearsal every night, there are three other extremely talented directors and playwrights fighting for the same space. So Alex and the actors have been getting creative. We have spent rehearsal time in the Lab Theatre, the Green Room, the Lab Lobby, and even in the alleyway outside. No matter what space we were in Alex was constantly pushing the actors toward remaining focused and developing characterization.
My favorite part of this process, however, has been what I like to call the “bunk bed mishap”. Alex and I were ecstatic when we learned that the theatre already had bunk beds in storage that were made for a previous production. When we finally got them up from the basement to use for rehearsals, we had quite the laugh. These beds were not made for very large football players, like one of our leads Mike Beaton, who had also claimed the top bunk for himself. John Kish, our other lead, had to lay on a bench next to the bunk beds for a few weeks out of fear that he might collapse under Mike. It was definitely the better choice.
As of yesterday, we have new bunk beds! John and Mike, who we now refer to as the “Prison Bros”, had a great time playing with their new props. They even went and put on costumes for a quick photo-op.
Alex also gave his actors a quick crash course in how to smoke herbal cigarettes, another necessary prop in the play. Not only do the herbal cigarettes create a cool action on stage, it is also used in showing a progression and change in John Kish’s character, Jay. And no, Alex doesn't always look this bad-ass... :)
I’m so incredibly proud of all my actors and I can’t wait to see them in a full run-through tonight. Speaking of which, I’ve got to get going to Withycombe! Don’t forget to purchase your tickets for the Festival! They are now available online at http://oregonstate.edu/dept/theatre/
Until next time,