So this is a really nice moment. We have just finished fall, winter and a spring in our new home at 910 Santafe Drive. We did five open rehearsals in about six months and have created an ongoing project at Denver Open Media as well as very real work with Crisis Actors. This week we did a 4 hour workshop at West Highschool in our back yard and started reading Three Sisters for a new adaptation I would like to produce in the fall. Have some other video and film in preproduction as well. So life is busy and very productive. We have really made a home here and feel part of a true arts community evolving every day in our city.
Yesterday Mackenzie Beyer, one of our founding actors said something kind of great. She said that she was happy and that the night before we had all been laughing non stop during a first read of Three Sisters. Tim Johnson was reading all the men, Kayla was Masha, Jesse Olga, I was Irina and Mackenzie Natasha and Jacqueline was Anfisa. It was a somehow the most Chekhovian reading of a Chekhov play I can remember. something about our fatigue, happiness at having completed some intense work the week before, the coming of Spring and the ease and reality of our relationships built over the past two years made the banality and silliness and trivialness of these characters lives recognizable and funny. And then every now and then we would get quiet as someone cried that soul cry of the Chekhov play “Why I go on living I don’t k now…” I suppose some of us have had these moments of despair. When the repetition of our mistakes and weakness and the difficulty of our lives seems insupportable. Chekhov’s characters keep looking for romantic love to save them. Something we learn today is quite dangerous. A substitution for the love of self or the love of God maybe. A substitution for meaning in our lives that always ends in despair of a deeper kind in Chekhov and often in suicide. Work then becomes the only comfort at the end of many of the plays.
I picked up a book in the Tattered Cover a few days ago called Desire by Susan Cheever, John Cheever’s daughter. And like the moment after the Othello auditions I had a flash of a new idea. The day after Othello auditions I was talking to a friend about an abusive relationship in her life and that is when I got the idea for The Othello Project, to look at the play thought the lens of contemporary stories of domestic violence. The Cheever book has also sparked an idea. To perhaps see Chekhov’s character’s and own life from a contemporary understanding of love and sex addiction. the internet, on line dating, porn and loneliness in contemporary culture as a parallel to his plays and time. The only thing good about getting older is that somehow we get a bit wiser. Saging they call it. So my own difficulties and bouts with despair and struggle have given me insights I did not have as a younger woman. Although I also think I have always been the same. And I have had this great gift bestowed on me. To work in the theatre where all of experience is appropriate and all of it can become food for thought and expression and give meaning to my own life and those around me. To be continued….