Saturday, March 3, 2012

Styles: Our Lady of the Elms


What a bummer! One of our very favorite stops on the tour is at Our Lady of the Elms in Akron. We first joined them in 2009 with the Chekhov tour. We were presenting On the Harmful Effects of Tobacco and The Brute. Now, we had already visited a high school or two by the time we met the girls of Elms, and they thought it was funny as far as it goes. What we were not prepared for was the fact that these young ladies had already read both short plays, and had been schooled on why it was funny, at least on paper. In theory. They knew where the funny was and what to listen for. What they were not prepared for was how animated and outrageous it was to witness when played by actors. They got absolutely everything and loved it all. It was a joyous performance.

The following year, when we presented On the Dark Side of Twilight, well, between the Twilight-inspired scene and Dusten's pants, they were well-ready to explode. Last year was another big hit. And so it was again this year with Styles. They were a tremendous audience, very appreciative, and as expected, the "seduction" scenes (if you can call them that) between Hastings and Cynthia and Mary were points of great hilarity, and sympathy. I could feel that every girl out there just wanted to rip Emily's little head off. We were looking forward to the talkback, in hopes of generously embarrassing James with the adoration we expect he would have received from the audience.

Unfortunately,and this is the only downside, really, immediately after the performance they had to leave! The Elms basketball team is currently in the regionals -- first time in school history, they told me -- and were being honored that afternoon at the end of school. Good for them!

Oh, well. Still a tremendous audience, a great afternoon, and I look forward to returning next year!

The Elms Panthers play Mapleton this afternoon at 2 PM. Our tour visits Akron Main Public Library tomorrow at 2 PM.

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