Friday, July 3, 2020

Assessment

Anne & Zyrece
Today was my 300th consecutive morning of writing. When I noted that this morning, that number, at first I was proud of my achievement. Then I realized, that is nearly ten months. I started last September.

This year. This fucking year.

Whatever your plans, they were shelved in March. This year is now half over, and everything remains on hold. 2020 is canceled, and the only good thing we got out of any of this is Hamilton. Had we been asked, I am sure we all could have waited to see it at the movies.

We are, all of us, holding out for a miracle. That a vaccine is arrived at, faster than has ever been arrived at before, to eradicate the virus and return our lives to something like normal.

The artistic community, to take only one example, is in a desperate state. Our livelihood depends on live performance, audiences, sweat and spit and contact and everything that might possibly kill you.

This is what I wrote on “Day One,” before I had even started writing short plays each day. I was mentally preparing myself for the Chicago Marathon.
This day is cool and most perfect. I project my mind into the afternoon to come and wonder, can I accomplish this? The race is a little over a month, but today, today I will run, my feet -- not just my feet, my hips, and all the rest,carrying me across the city. I can do that, can’t I?

I am imagining the Cleveland that currently is, with runners through the Cultural Garden, and packing Edgewater Park. There will be water fountains and public restrooms, amenities which make the travel easier. Will it be a joy? Or arduous? Will I notice the good things? I cannot know.
Just revisiting this, knowing how much we have lost, how much I have personally lost since then, Sunday, September 8, 2019. I was running the twenty miles from our house to my mother’s house that day. She was waiting for me on the porch when I arrived. Sitting out with her boyfriend on a beautiful late summer’s day.

My mother was alive. The park was swollen with people. And I was unafraid.

Zach & Brian
So. Savory Taṇhā. We had a lovely rehearsal last night, this time with the "Friday" version, the one that will be performed a week from tonight. The script doesn’t change, but the performers will read different roles each evening; Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

I am directing, which is most practical but not what I prefer. Directing my own writing, I spend too much time on the wrong things. I prefer all my concentration be on the words themselves, paying greater attention to what is said rather than how it is being said. So that I might change them.

Then there is the frustration of working within the constraints of this medium. Light, space, reception, delay. My attention isn’t even on what’s being said, nor how, but how it all comes together, as a whole.

And yet, having said all that. I am loving this. This is where I am grateful to be working with such talented performers. This material, these scenes. Relationships played out in intimate fashion. This is an experience you cannot have on stage, this intimacy. The closeness, the vulnerability.

We had made plans. Other projects, different journeys. They did not include this show, though. There is a saying, "serenity can be achieved by trading expectation for acceptance." Or as I'd put it, by trading one expectation for another.

Cleveland Public Theatre presents "Savory Taṇhā (sixteen short plays performed by a rotating ensemble)" featuring Anne McEvoy Zyrece Montgomery,  Zach Palumbo, Brian Pedaci & Hillary Wheelock on July 9, 10 & 11, 2020 at 8:00 PM.

No comments:

Post a Comment