Aaaaaaand We are Open! Saturday night we officially opened the Regional Premier of Water by the Spoonful. The audience was very responsive and afterwards there was a little reception with mingling and congratulations with old and new friends. The theatre scene here in the Bay area is so vibrant. From the ridiculously talented actors to the smart and dedicated patrons.
The theatre we are performing in is quite large and with 600 seats and a wide stage it presents a vocal challenge for actors. The play is one that has many intimate moments and one on one conversations. Without amplification we have to dig deep and speak with volume, yet at the same time share the emotional quality of our character’s struggles. When the theatre was empty I could feel my voice traveling around the space, however the air changes with hundreds of bodies in the seats. If I talk to someone after a show I like to ask where they were sitting and if they could hear us. There are times where I feel like I am shouting, but I remember that I am faced with the task of sharing this story and I have to share it all the way up to the balcony. Besides proper breathing and techniques ( Which I learned in Undergraduate and Graduate School based on Kristin Linklater’s work) I also rely on intention. I will my voice to travel to each and every corner, I can feel myself sending it up and out. The biggest challenge is to keep my chin up and not talk to the floor, as we often do in real life. The language in this play is also very rich and layered and if we aren’t clear enough the audience might have a hard time following the journey. We can tell when we are being clear because the audience responds, either vocally or with silence. To hear hundreds of people immediately get quiet after a revealing line is one of the greatest rewards of this art form. Likewise, when they applaud, laugh or gasp it informs the work we are doing in the moment and makes it all that much more worth it.
So this is our home for the next three weeks. We run shows Tuesday through Sundays, with the occasional double Saturday and Sunday shows. We have our days back! After a celebratory gathering of the cast and crew at the local Irish Pub for pool and beer I came home and slept for 12 hours!
A few reviews are in and all we can hope for are that as many people come spend a few hours with us so we can share this incredibly moving story.