Tuesday, December 07, 2010

2010 Year in Review: Torrid Affaire

[My year kicked off with the restaging of my play Torrid Affaire by Theatre Unleashed.  Below is my "Playwright's Statement" from the program of that run.]

Theatre Unleashed presents: Torrid Affaire

Funny story. Torrid Affaire grew out of frustration.

Back in 2005, I had this nutty idea to produce a play. I'd cast some of the wonderful people I had met over the previous year of "getting back into theatre," rent a small hall for a limited run, and see if I still knew what I was doing. After all, I am a college educated artist! (Insert impressed "oohs" and "aahs" here.) I had the play all picked out, a farcical work about five women in the midst of change, each harboring secrets. I cast the show, did a first read-through ... and got word that my request for rights had been declined.

After yelling at the walls and scaring the dogs for the better part of the afternoon, I announced to my very patient and understanding wife, "Fuck it! I'll write a play myself!" I sat down, and two weeks later the first draft of Torrid Affaire was finished. The cast was on board with the change (apparently, I'm very charismatic when I'm angry,) and rehearsals began immediately. I workshopped the play on the fly -- tweaking this line, rewriting those pages -- like a quarterback calling plays on the field. The play opened to a packed house, and closing night was sold out. Not bad for a two night run.

The first cast of Torrid Affaire (L to R):  Jacqueline Valmont, Cassandra Cousineau, Amy Ray, Carrie Spellman, Pamela Moore, and that tall drink of water in the back is Josh Green.

Torrid Affaire became the calling card that got me into a theatre company later that year, that proved my chops to new collaborators, and helped convince them I could write a play about the backstage antics at a 1940s burlesque hall when we broke off and started this company.

The lesson, at least for me, is as follows: When you get pissed-off, do something about it. When the threshhold guardians of life tell you "NO!" find a way to do it anyway. Trust your abilities, trust your friends, and follow the path you've committed to. The longterm pay-off cannot be estimated; positive action has untold repercussions that resonate in ways you may never appreciate.

Enough preaching. I hope you enjoy Torrid Affaire. Although born of frustration, it was crafted to delight.

The Theatre Unleashed cast of Torrid Affaire (clockwise from bottom left):  Taryn Chaifetz, Darci Dixon, Katie Sikkema, Annmarie Migini, Ana Therese Lopez and that slice of man meat in the middle is Josh Morrison.

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