Peep Show

Wednesday night I stuck around for the annual board meeting that includes a few preview performances from next season's plays. The highlight of the night for me was when, during Artistic Director David Esbjornson's speech about the successes of this season, Todd Jefferson Moore entered looking a lot like this:

If you saw Thom Pain: based on nothing in October, you might recognize the show's needy nihilistic protagonist (or was it antagonist?) who managed to piss off legions of theatregoers in a play that I absolutely loved. Some people didn't: having this guy up in your face for over an hour making you question if your life is worth anything is a little challenging.

Anyway, Todd as Thom showed up and confronted David as to why his show wasn't getting a repeat in the next season. He led the board members in a call and response session and then suggested a Thom Pain Christmas show. (brilliant!) I laughed so hard I was almost crying. I am already mentally writing the script for An Existential Holiday. Think it could sell? Don't worry, it's not actually going to happen. This holiday season we'll be spreading the holiday cheer with a John Denver retrospective called Back Home Again.

The rest of the (real) preview performances were pretty awesome. Twelfth Night, which we're opening the season with, is going to be really fun and dark. David called it "Shakespeare's farewell to comedy," meaning it has great wit and some of his best clowns hamming it up, but also some deeper, biting looks at love.

I was especially excited to see a reading from The Breach, a new play in response to Hurricane Katrina. The play was very uniquely written by three different playwrights and weaves together three stories that each touch on a different aspect of the disaster, but in a very personal, yet highly theatrical way. I wasn't sure from reading the script how it would play live, but I think it's going to be fascinating, touching, and ultimately a piece that will inspire a lot of conversation.

The three playwrights are also here this week for a workshop of the piece. At the meeting, they talked for a bit about the process, describing it as a marriage. Like all marriages, sometimes it's really hard, said the youngest of the playwrights, recent Yale School of Drama MFA grad Tarell McCraney. "Sometimes I don't want to be married to Joe Sutton," he said. (Sutton, by the way, wrote Voir Dire. The third playwright is Catherine Filloux.

The way the piece came together is fascinating, but in the interest of blog length (and the fact that I am three minutes away from lunch), I will save that for another posting.

And the sun appears to be making a comeback. Off I go into it.

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