“Epilogue: Yet in the End”
These were my last words before I left the Dallas Theater Center Studio space for the final time Sunday night. (Our director included the scene numbers and titles during the show and it added a chance to hear more of Luis Alfaro‘s potent poetry and added a unique transition between scenes) I peeled myself off of the blood soaked deck of the stage, my white dress stained red and pieces of ripped up bible pages sticking to my sandals, my perfectly applied Chola eye makeup smudged with tears, I stood up, tall and present, and delivered these lines for the 50th time. I stood behind the bar in the lobby to wipe the blood off my hands, face and body underneath the giant angel wings that were set up to honor Jocasta’s tatoos on her back. I silently spoke the last words of the play along with the Choro and listened to the final clickity-clack of Tiresias’s blind cane just before black out.
It was an intimate final performance; we were in competition not only with the Oscars but also with below freezing weather that kept a lot of folks at home rather than brave the frozen roads. (Even though our show would have thawed them right out!) Our company manager was in the front row and got some of the last drops of blood on her. Each moment was new and filled with energy, lines that I had heard each night sounded different. I surprised myself with the delivery of a couple of lines, my muscle memory ceased and the nervous excitement of closing night filled the space with wonder. One favorable detail about the small crowd was the chance to avoid having to fill the entire space with voice when we were doing our intimate scene on the ground, naked and only inches from the audience. I was able to speak at a more natural level and drop into the language with a different emotional quality than I had felt before during that scene. I think it was one of our best shows.
In between the matinee and the evening show our stage manager took us down to the Wyly Theater to sign the cement wall and add Oedipus El Rey to the history of shows done at the Dallas Theater Center. (Phillipe Bowgen, who played Oedipus, was super excited to sign his name hear Greg Kinnear!) I remember doing this in the dressing room of The Vortex Theater in Albuquerque after doing The House of Bernarda Alba. At USC we signed the dressing room wall after we did our black box performance of Merchant of Venice during our 2nd year and I signed the old wooden beams on the dressing room ceiling at Magic Theater in my first Equity show of Bruja ( Luis Alfaro’s Medea adaptation). I love the ritual of leaving a moment, a mark, a thanks on the architecture of a theater after a performance. Click HERE to watch a video about the autographed walls and doors on 5 floors at the Fox Theater in St. Louis.
I am drafting this post on an airplane, after packing up my apartment with exhaustion from the closing weekend festivities. On our final night we gathered on the couches around the fireplace and T.V. at Three Sheets to watch the final moments of the Oscars while our production assistant read aloud the final production report. After 50 shows: total amount of blood used: 7 gallons, # of babies in the audience: 1, # of large bags of baby wipes used: 5, # of people who walked out: 4, # of people kicked out: 2, # of times the gun misfired:1, the list went on and on. We just smiled and laughed, all of us tired and happy with our work.
What really made me proud was when Heather Kitchen, Managing Director of DTC, visited during fight call and let us know that the show hit and went over their projected single ticket sales goal. In addition to that great news they were able to get 6 different City Council members in to see the show, for some it was a first visit to the DTC. I’m honored to have been a part of a show that excited their subscriber base and promoted bold and brave productions.
I am sad to miss the opening of Fortress of Solitude, the next show opening at DTC. If you are in the Dallas area, don’t miss it! I wish them all the best energy and love that we got from the fantastic Dallas audiences.Farewell to the “Big D” for now, and onwards to “The Big Apple!” (25 degrees right now according to the captain of the plane!)
In the words of my mothers text this morning before I got on the plane to NYC: “upward & onward 2 the next adventure.”
From the stage directions of Oedipus El Rey:
“Jocasta’s body gets up and she takes off her dress, which she hangs on a wire.
Finally she flies.”