The experience was an amazing one. I hadn't planned to audition for this play, mainly because I assumed I wouldn't be right for any of the parts. And also because Restoration Comedy sounded as dull to me as reading the phone book, mostly because I had never read any. I assumed the language would be stuffy and that the story would be boring. Well, it was anything but boring! And while the story was funny and fun, that's not what I'll remember. I will remember something unique and special about each and every one of my cast and crew mates. The things I am grateful I was able to experience while getting to know them and while creating something with them.
Donna - An amazing actress and a phenomenal person! Donna played my mother (and a few other relatives) in Quilters and I've watched her act in other shows. Sitting backstage with Donna (who played my father in this show) was always fun. And playing her daughter, being on stage with such a talented person, was an amazing experience. There is so much I can learn from someone with such natural talent and charisma on stage.
Casey - A new addition, someone I hadn't met before. Casey was our youngest cast member, just a teen, but is an incredibly talented young man. He played violin during our scene changes, proving that he is quite an accomplished musician, and in the opening scene, played Daniel, a young servant in the inn (who I always assumed was my brother, although I don't think the script ever said that) and showed that he is very good at falling down without getting hurt. At least not hurt too badly!
Scotty - I stage managed the first show this season and met Scotty as a result. We have happily kept in touch and I am so glad we got the chance to be on stage together for this, the last show of the season. A talented filmmaker and actor, Scotty will be someone to watch in the next few years. His movies will eventually be ones you can see in the theatres, if he has anything to do with it! I was in his movie this spring, which is currently in post production and will premier sometime soon. He is also a great person, just a big teddy bear! I'm looking forward to meeting up with him for karaoke now that we don't have rehearsals!
Timothy - I met Timothy at the read through of my very first play at Theatre 98. He freaked me out more than any person ever has! It turns out, that was his goal - so he did a good job! I played his "love interest" in that play and sort of did the same in this one. Things really do come full circle sometimes. Timothy is just an incredible actor who has great on stage presence. It is so easy to act with him because he's so present - always in the scene and always in character. And he's so much fun backstage. He sang to me about cherry chapstick every night before we went on - because my character's name was Cherry. So I put on cherry chapstick before we did our kissing scene, just for him! He's also a director that I would like to work with one day (hint, hint!)
Rick - Another new person to me, but not new to the theatre. His last show was before I got involved. I'm so happy he decided to come back because it was a pleasure to spend time with him! I discovered that he is not just a great actor but a great person as well. He has so much compassion for others. In addition, his poetry and his sense of humor are both sharper than the sword he used in the fight scene! I will never forget the night he did a "take 2" in the fight scene because the stool he normally kicked into the air and then caught sort of fell to the floor. It was seamless and perfect. The audience loved it, and so did we!
Marcus - I served as his stage manager earlier this season - the same play Scotty was in, actually! He had a lot of confidence in me as a director because of my work as stage manager, so he was one of the reasons I was able to direct Enchanted April. I enjoyed being on stage with Marcus a lot, because he throws everything into the role and it was easy to find his character despicable - because he made the character that way. In reality, he's a very nice person who likes to entertain others.
Lesley - What can I say? She's a talented actress and has become a very good friend. I so loved our scene at the end of Act 1. But it was difficult to keep a straight face while she did that to the gun and I wasn't supposed to know what she was doing! Lesley has been there for me through some tough times and I hope I can return that favor one day. I am so happy that we have become friends and that we are going to be seeing even more of each other in KidStuf and small group at church.
Nicole - We met during Quilters and I can honestly say she is the most beautiful woman I've ever met in person. Imagine how happy I was when I discovered that she is also a beautiful person inside! I think in many ways Nicole and I are kindred spirits. We even talked a little about that tonight. She's so funny and happy and bouncy. I used to be like that and am hoping I can get back to it when I lose some weight. She is an inspiration to me with her running and her weight loss. And she's such a REAL person. I love that about her. I'm so glad we got the chance to get closer during this play and I hope we can get even closer now.
Leslie - I admired her so much when she played the lead in The Trip to Bountiful last year and even won the SETC award for Best Actress when they took the play to the competition. She is a great actress and a joy backstage. I loved getting to know her. Leslie also had my favorite line in the entire play. "I am female and I am dangerous!"
Sue - I know a lot of people who know Sue because she's very involved in Mobile theatre. I hadn't met Sue before this and I really enjoyed getting to know her. She was hilarious backstage and did so well playing her part on stage. She played a man, as several of the ladies did, and it was hysterical watching her do it!
Cindy - She's clever and sweet and I really enjoyed working with her! Her emails to the cast were so funny, and I really had fun backstage with her. She made a great cross dressing country woman pirate and I loved watching her in the fight scene. And her country woman speech was hilarious!
Jarred - A rare person indeed, this guy is just amazing. I am so glad I got to know Jarred better during this show, because he was so shy during Enchanted April, and now that we're in small group together (with his wife Katie and some other awesome people!) I'm glad my first impression of him was correct - that he's just an all around great person! He is also an incredible actor who makes the most out of every single role, including a lovely servant woman. It was the best bearded lady I've ever seen!
Tom - He was a new person to our family, but it didn't take long for him to become one of us. He even came to rehearsals he didn't have to attend, just to get the full experience. This helped when they gave him the backstage headset so our stage manager could be up in the booth with our light operator. His Sir Charles Freeman was so regal and dignified - and I was so happy that I got to end up with his character in the end! There is nothing quite like seeing someone discover a hidden talent. With Tom, we all got to see that happening! I hope he tries out for something else, because he's really got talent and passion for it!
Andre - He came to the theatre to help coach my actors in Italian for Enchanted April, which was so helpful! I was so glad he decided to try out for this show. He was perfect as the French parson! Everyone loved his scene, and he was so helpful backstage. I hope he decides to do another show sometime soon.
Jonne - The director. I feel like I learned so much from Jonne, while he advised me on Enchanted April and during the rehearsal process of this show. He's a very creative and very talented director and I really enjoyed working with him. His shows always look so pretty - the movements are like dance steps. It was great to be a part of that. I can't believe this man managed to direct this complicated show while undergoing tests for a brain tumor, not knowing whether or not he would even be able to finish the play. I'm so happy he was able to finish and that things are going okay now with his health.
Jestina - Our wonderful stage manager! She's my new best friend! Well, she's everybody's new best friend, mostly because she says that all the time. She is one of the reasons our cast got so close, I think. She did these great emails with awesome random subject lines that just prompted all kinds of crazy conversations. I loved those emails, they helped break up the day at work! And they helped us all get to know each other better outside rehearsals, which is part of the cast bonding process, I think. Jestina was so great at being in charge when Jonne turned the show over to her. I'm looking forward to seeing what she does as a director herself one day. And wait until we get her on stage!
So you can see why I loved each and every one of these beautiful people and why it was hard to say goodbye. I hope we can continue our friendships and that we will see each other again very soon.