Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Styles: Quirk Cultural Center


The Quirk Cultural Center in Cuyahoga Falls is a charming space, a former elementary school which is managed by the city to provide art instruction and facilities to their senior community, and also acts as a space available to the public for special events. The third floor features a cute little auditorium with a curtained stage and maybe one hundred fine theater seats.

That's right. I said third floor. And no freight elevator. Still, it had wide, public school staircases which made load-in less onerous than it was squeezing into the office space we navigated yesterday. Everything went very well until load-out. The weather today has been beautiful, but also very, very windy. Our largest, heaviest set pieces are the door units, but a great, surprise gust brought one panel that had been propped against one brick wall crashing down against another brick wall. The damage is not so severe than we will not be able to clamp it to its partner and add wall paint to cover the break for our final performance tomorrow morning. It will look and work fine. I think I speak for the company when I say we are grateful it happened now, and not at the beginning of the run. The Mousetrap opens this weekend, and no one in the scene shop has time to doctor the outreach tour.

Last year our performance of Decameron at Quirk, our first visit to this site, attracted an intimate audience of retirees, bussed from a nearby retirement community. That date was in the morning, and so it was agreed that this year we would present in the afternoon. Perhaps it was the time change, and no doubt due to Agatha Christie, but we had a much larger turnout today, a spirited, adult audience looking for a good time.


Today's talkback was fabulous, there were several Christie aficionados in the house, some who had even read Styles. They particularly favored our youthful Hastings to the rather reserved version in the David Suchet series. We had our first audience member today to announce she had suspected Cynthia, because of her male impersonations. Emily was so pleased!

Daniel said some extremely kind things before the audience today about the success of this show, and all the work everyone has put into it. I can say from experience how delighted and thrilled I have been to be working six out of seven with these four performers, who have negotiated the tour with humor and goodwill. Daniel announced that next year we will be presenting a new work, which I will be writing, and invited everyone to return next spring. The turnout for these public performances are really going to mess with our numbers next year ... I think I'm a good writer, and that this is a strong adaptation, but seriously, that's not why people were arriving in droves these past three weeks.

Tomorrow, one more performance ... and before I even begin to break down the sound system, I will be visiting the dressing room with a pair of scissors and an electric razor.

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