Notes from a Wandering Laptop
Week of October 27, 2019
Grief Stuff - Dad's Funeral, Mom's House
This time next week Dad's funeral will be completed, and I'll be in the thick of helping my brother Mark to finish the big cleanout of Mom's house so we can get it in the hands of the realtor. This week leading up to all that I need to get my eulogy for Dad down on paper (I have it in my head and have rehearsed saying it, but on the day, who knows? If I want the words spoken, I may need a paper backup so someone else can do it or finish it - we'll see how I manage). I also need to keep up the online research and phone calls to line up things like dumpsters, the removal of the elevator chair, furniture donations, etc. Big fun. The mother loss grief support group started this past Thursday (and I'll probably miss the next two meetings with all this PA travel stuff) but it was good to be in the room - all women except me. And news of Mom and Dad's deaths so close together drew a gasp from the group. I wasn't trying to top anyone's story, just turned out it's been a bad six months. Meanwhile, in other writing news, the Caring Bridge page to follow Mom's illness and treatment has become a grief journal, now for both parents.
Threhold Theater - Script Development
Had the first of my meetings with Threshold Theater about one of the scripts, TV Boyfriend, which isn't on the schedule yet but one they're committed to producing in the future. First, some rewrites. In the course of the discussion, it became clear that the solution to most of the issues with the play (time, character development) might be solved by turning the thing into a two-hander, just about the two central characters, with no one on the periphery, and to delve into the year we currently skip over, which may be where the juiciest of the conflicts lies, and the explanation for how Jake finally decides he's ready to come out of the closet. It's a big move, and I've never written a two person play before, but it might be the thing that cracks the story open and takes the play to its final form. We shall see. The meeting on Spellbound, the play they've got on the schedule for spring 2020 as their inaugural production, will have to wait till after Dad's funeral. I'm looking forward to further collaborating with them, developing these two scripts, and getting back in the rehearsal room with a new play this spring. It's been too long.
Finally posted a new review, for Theatre Coup d'Etat's Shakespeare mashup of Henry IV parts 1 and 2, Rogue Prince - 4 stars. Other recent outings, as yet unreviewed, Walking Shadow's Cabal; The Glass Menagerie at the Guthrie with my friend Grayson DeJesus in the cast; my writer friend Eli in a storytelling showcase Eventually, Epiphany; the National Coming Out Day Cabaret and fundraiser for the new Threshold Theater. Reviews for some of those to follow. Meanwhile, previous 2019 reviews - Sandbox Theatre's Golden Record Project - 5 stars; Prime Production's Marjorie Prime - 3 stars; Frank Theatre's The Cradle Will Rock - 4.5 stars; Paige Collette and Tatiana Pavela's The Monica Meditations, and Brandi Alexander - 4.5 stars; Girl Friday Productions/Park Square's The Skin of Our Teeth - 5 stars; Chain Reaction Theatre's new showcase What Guys Really Want - 3.5 stars
Just in case anyone was wondering why the steep drop off in the number of theater reviews in recent months, I posted some words of explanation here.
Survived my first Minnesota Fringe Festival in 17 years without Mom by my side, thanks to some amazing friends all over the Fringe community making sure I felt surrounded by the love of people who care, because they knew her and missed her, too. The Fringe staff created an award to honor an outstanding audience member and named it for Mom, calling it The Beverlee. Got myself to a show in every slot (55), which day to day was its own little miracle. I saw a lot of great stuff - 5 star shows, 4.5 star shows - and some decent stuff - 4 stars shows, 3.5 star shows - and some not so great stuff - 2.5 star shows, 2 star shows. You can compare how it turned out to what I was anticipating by looking at my pre-Fringe Top 10 list, and a Top 11-20 list. My schedule is posted, as well as meditations on returning favorites, and shows I just can't watch right now that are still worth a look for someone who didn't just lose their mom.
Here, if you're curious
Here, if you're curious