Saturday, April 6, 2019

Play a Day: The Way I Danced With You (The George Michael Play)

Sarah Blubaugh &
Cody Fitzpatrick Steele
This is closing weekend of the premiere of my play The Way I Danced With You at Ensemble Theatre in Cleveland Heights. You have two more opportunities to catch it, today at 2:00 PM and tomorrow at 7:00 PM.

Presented as part of the 2019 Colombi New Plays Festival, we have had a marvelous run following an extended development process.

Last weekend my new children’s play About a Ghoul closed at Talespinner Children’s Theatre. I wrote that piece in about eight weeks, last November and December. I recently found notes from late 2013, which were my exploratory writing for this play. I’d had it on a list of “plays I would like to write” for longer than that. It was just said “George Michael” but I knew what it meant.

In the past five years we've read it in a bar downtown, in Valdez, Alaska, and in the Waterloo Arts District. It's been produced on the West Side and the East Side. Dani and Charles have gotten around.

Sarah Blubaugh
People love this piece, and I am so glad they do. It has moved audience members to tears, I didn’t know I could do that. It has been a joy watching Sarah Blubaugh and Cody Fitzpatrick Steele grow in these roles -- especially Sarah, who had what I felt was a very challenging task, adapting her idea of Dani, a character she had already grown very attached to at the Blank Canvas production last year, to a different actor’s idea of who Charles should be.

It’s an intimate, two-person work that keeps the audience guessing until almost the end. A real psychological mystery. Each development process the script has changed, even here; at the suggestion of director Tyler JC Whidden we removed a few words, just a few, and in doing so extended the mystery even further so that the reveal was all the more satisfying.

Theater is all about collaboration, even or especially the writing.

Read "The Way I Danced With You" at New Play Exchange.

Ensemble Theatre present The Way I Danced With You through Sunday, April 7, 2019.

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