Friday, June 16, 2006

Playwrights Platform Festival, B-day, gardening

Playwrights Platform Festival is on, my play is going well, I'm also a stagehand.
Thinking of Eliza as her birthday approaches. I miss her so much since she moved to England six or seven years ago. I fear will see less of each other as fuel and fares go up and the dollar drops.
Finally out digging and weeding, first sun in a month yesterday.
Last of Eliza's gold-hearted pink peonies-- saved from the bulldozer when her house in Brookline was sold to a developer-- is in bloom. Most were battered to oblivion by the incessant rain this year. I think I'll bring the last in to enjoy, just in case. Outside the flower is low down on the bush and back behind a tall lilly, and can't really be seen by a passer-by.

The director of Christmas At Grandma's has moved on to another project, and I couldn't resist giving notes last night-- although the cast in under no obligation to take them, of course. It's their show now.
If the audience is not laughing, don't worry. Play the real emotions and trust that that will be fine. They'll be smiling.
Really, only 3 things "happen" in the play. 1, For the 1st time, JJ resists going with her Mom. 2, Mom gives in to JJ's 1st objective-- to Not go. This is nicely underscored by JJ taking off her hat and jacket and doing a little joy-jump. It works. A nano-second to realize that things have changed and let it settle in with the audience is ok here, though. 3, JJ realizes that her "making an effort" with her difficult Gram means a lot to her mother, and decides that she Will go. This action kind of gets lost in the chaos. There are really 3 separate beats in JJ's one speech....
JJ (putting on hat and coat, getting backpack)
It’s all right, Mom. I can deal with it. At least for one more year. But I don’t see why it has to be Christmas! Next year can’t we just call her, and go vist some other time?

1, I will go Now. 2, I want a change next year. 3, new idea! can't we go another time? Take time for the actions, and everybody to react to the actions. I originally wrote in a physical underline of JJ putting hat and jacket back on and I think a JJ-initiated hug would also be great before moving on to the next beat. Maybe by now the two of you are so in tune that you think of singing "We Shall Overcome.." at the same time and do it together??? You are a team. Going forth to deal with Grandma, make the best of your heritage.
(As blocked, it looks to the audience as if you are settled into the sofa to all stay home together.)