The Beginning: 6/19 – 6-23 (Chart and Musings)

Grab some dice and throw!  It's time to see some theatre randomly!
Grab some dice and throw! It’s time to see some theatre randomly!

I have now reached the point in time wherein I’ve seen enough shows this year that I’m starting to see actors for the second time.  I’m reviewing people’s work who I’ve reviewed before.  I now have points of comparisons.  I also have reached a point wherein I should really start a spreadsheet to keep track of the actors and their work.

Before I knew where I’d seen an actor.  Oh!  She’s good.  She’s auditioned for me twice before.  Or, Hey!  That’s the guy I saw at Steppenwolf a couple of years ago!  Now, though, I’ve seen nearly 40 plays this year already.  And I am still running a theatre.  I still see about 200+ actors in audition situations every year.  Not to mention that I’ve started auditioning myself after about 3 years away from the game.  That means that I’m running into actors in daily life situations, too.  It’s hard to keep track of where I’ve seen someone, and what my impressions of a person are based upon.  What he rude at an audition, and so I don’t like him?  Or, was he just really good as a villainous character in some show I saw?

These are the weird things that I notice now that I’ve been reviewing in town for a while.  This wasn’t a problem in Minnesota, but I’m guessing that part of that can be chalked up to the fact that I was integrated into the theatre community pretty solidly before I started writing about the theatre scene there.  Here, it is essentially the other way around.

Now, I saw three shows this past weekend for CenterstageChicago.com.  All of my reviews have been submitted, but there seems to be something wonky going on over there at their website.  I’m hoping that it isn’t a permanent issue.  If it continues to be so, I’ll rewrite reviews of those three plays and post them here.  Otherwise, I’ll do what I normally do with reviews I write for Centerstage, and I’ll post links on this site as soon as they are live on the interwebs.

One other thing that I’ve noticed over the last few months that seems noteworthy:  There are a lot of plays currently out there that deal with women and war and its effects.  One of those actors who I’ve recently noticed a lot, Meredith Rae Lyons, has been in two of them.  I first became aware of her in “Ithaka” back in April, when she played a returning war vet with PTSD.  This past weekend I saw her at The Side Project as a Navy Widow.  I now wonder if this type of casting will be a theme for her.  I guess we’ll see over the next few months.  Her headshot is in my binder of actresses.  She has auditioned for my company in the past year (although not for me directly).  Of all the actors who I can’t pinpoint why I recognize them, I at least know why she’s familiar.

A bit of a preview: I’m only seeing one show this weekend.  It is “Myths and Hymns” at Boho.  Their Heartland Studio space is only about 100 yards from my apartment, and yet I’ve never been there for a show.  I’m looking forward to seeing how the space is used.  It’s tiny in there.  Redtwist Theatre calls their space “tiny” in their marketing materials.  I thought that space was huge compared to when I’ve walked through the Heartland/Boho space.  In Minnesota there is a critically acclaimed theatre called Off-Leash Area which often performs in a residential garage.  Boho’s space seems similar in square footage.  I can’t wait to see if these guys are equally forward-thinking in their use of the truly tiny.

Okay… randomness!  Here we go…

  • The sun.
  • “This Card may not be redeemed for cash, and the unused value remains on the Card”
  • This past weekend Lifeline Theatre gave away all sorts of props and costumes to others in the theatre world.  This is the second such give-away that I attended this year (the other was at The Goodman).  We put the stuff that we collected in our car.  Then my wife took off for a week to visit her home town in Iowa and work at a camp that she attended as a youth.  There are a bunch of really strange costume pieces currently being used by a church camp outside of Des Moines.
  • I’m going to write a play entitled “Bugs & Wishes”.  It has to happen.
  • My daughter is learning to drive this week and next.  I’m in no way feeling old about this.
  • Finally!  Trivia time!  Today we’re going back to the old stand-by of hookedonfacts.com: “One in three snakebite victims is drunk.  One in five is tattooed.” — I’m sure I could come up with something witty to say about that, but it really doesn’t seem necessary.