Wednesday, November 02, 2005

hello Columblog

Greetings from the green room backstage at the Mershon Auditorium, part of the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. We have been in town for about 3 days and have loaded in and rehearsed the show in a super-compressed fashion, because everything about Super Vision is SUPER! Thanks to Neal and Jamie and Joe for all rheir extra efforst and the fabulous pros here at the Wexner.

Rehearsed all day yesterday, and were in this afternoon checking stuff out. It's always a little different in each theatre we load into and this one is especially different from the last venue. Why? Because the Mershon is a large, beautiful house and we are not using the entire auditorium and are performing on the stage with the audience up there with us! This is done all the time by the folks here at the Wexner, when the desire is to create a more intimate space and get the audience closer to the action. And oh boy, are they close! I can almost reach out from my little outpost downstage right and touch someone. But I would not touch them in an inappropriate way.

We are staying a couple of miles south of the theatre in a very nice Hampton Inn which includes breakfast and a USA Today and a walk across a parking lot to the very fabulous North Market, which is a very cool food and produce market where there are loads of nice things to eat for sale. I was very excited to discover a stand selling caramel popcorn on the first day and they also sell cheese popcorn and for any of you that have had the pleasure of eating this combination together in Chicago for instance, you will know the happiness I bought myself for a buck. Sounds weird, I know but trust me and if you ever encounter this combo, do yourself a favor and try it. Moe may steer you wrong on things like love advice and fashion, but she will not make a mistake about food.

David Pence, one of my talented cohorts, is at this very minute enjoying a nice baguette and some brie he bought at the market and transported to the campus here. The theatre is on one of the perimeter streets of the university and that means all manner of food that attracts college students can be found within walking distance. The main qualifications for success of these establishments seems to be quantity and cheapness. In other words, lots of food for very little money. That usually means starch in various forms and if there is something tasty that can be put either under or on top of a bread product or a pile of rice or a potato, it can be found for sale across the street. David had the presence of mind to import a high quality bread and tasty dairy item of his own in opposition to the wall of melted cheese across the street.

The very good news is that Jennifer Tipton, our lighting designer has finally been able to catch up with us here in Columbus. Circumstance made it impossible for her to join the production fully up until this point and we are delighted to have her back with the show. A special shout out to Alan Hahn, who courageously took the helm in her absence and made it so I was very very pretty in all my scenes. And that is what I think really matters when it comes to lighting. Welcome Jennifer.

The fall leaves are swirling nostalgically along the paths of the campus here at Ohio State. There is Buckeye paraphenalia all over the place and it is obvious that this school is very, very serious about football. We have a show on Saturday and I believe it is a game day here in Columbus and I am looking forward to experiencing the full-on tailgating phenomenon, which I will try to report on if I remember what happened. In my forties, I am seeking that leaf-strewn quad, college experience I never had and hope that nobody slips me a ruffie, which is an innovation since I was in college and we relied on keggers and other charms to have a social life.

Camera check in 10 minutes, then show in another hour. We go for Indian dinner afterwards at Indian Oven, the best south Asian food around. They are staying open late for us and we are very grateful, since we have been eating the above-described food for the last couple of days. Bindi masala, here I come.



Anonymous haas said...

Saw the theatrical event/experience last night in Montclair... WOW!! Just a few ideas about the playwriting itself.. With those effects I really think that a few changes in the play writing and this play would totally blow away an american audience.. The opening narration with zip codes of the audience (which could have even been maximized with some additional information relating to the specific audience could have intensified this even more,,,,) I could have listened to her for an hour, as intensity and emotion flowed wondering just how much technology really knows about us.. I settled in for what I thought was going to be quite a ride at your amusment park of theatre/technology... The equipment was incredible.. all the stage was set... I was thinking of the friends that I should have insisted come with me based on the descriptions of the show which I had read on line and in the papers.... After that opening about the zip codes and the first scene of the family and the interactions of the set, films, and the actors, I knew my friends were missing an event of a lifetime,,,however the script did not really do the job.... the acting was great, the guy at the airport check (both agent and traveler were fantastic...) the filming and tecnology was simply incredible... however the Play itself did not keep up with the intensity of the technology.. In the end I was glad, I had come alone, (sad, I know)- with ideas of how to have made the playwriting better and then wondering how much money I had if I could invest money in your production and send it around america with increased advertising...If you are ever in the Madison New Jersey area, please contact John at Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey ( to work on changes and development of the play itself... There is tooooo much valuable stuff there to be lost with a play script that leaves the audience asking "is that it?". The play has to be alittle closer to matching the effects and intensity of what is happening on stage. A playreading at playwrights after working with the director there, could make those changes keeping the same technology I saw last night.. It was incredible, really blew me away. Just left me thinking how much more could have been done with it!!! Not sure where this blog reply goes, never done one before. However if you can pass it along to anyone in the production, I would appreciate it...

Hey , I went to Ohio State University in 1965-69, wife worked at Montclair State for awhile and I am a contributor to Playwrights. sooo maybe we can put these ideas into effect.. (what you think?) Thanks, Haas

8:40 AM  

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