And it begins again….the magic of making theatre. The professionals sit around the table and we, the watchers, sit at the edge. We listen and observe and learn. This is a play about baseball. Not any baseball but the Chicago Cubs baseball. But it is not just about baseball. And we sit and listen and begin to understand so much more. Mat Smart – the playwright – says “I write what I don’t know the answer to, to make sense of what we don’t know.”
And the actors read. No, not just read. They act with a script in their hands. They immediately start bringing the characters to life. I sit and listen and imagine what is happening as the action takes place. The frantic daughter, the calm caretaker, Chicago. The questions are beginning to take shape. Will there be an answer?
Act I….take 5. I must leave. I step outside with another cohort and we chat about what we have seen and heard so far. We are already engaged. We are already thinking about what the play means. Why did the playwright do that? When the scene changes to another time, why do the actors play the opposite gender? Doesn’t James Craven remind you of Morgan Freeman? His manner is so reminiscent of Hoke in Driving Miss Daisy. And where have we seen Emily Kitchens before…besides the reading of this play…we must have seen her act before.
And so on the ride home and shopping at Wegs, I am still thinking of what is happening in the library at Geva. What the scenes mean to the main story, to the defining of the question, to the ultimate answer. I think…ah…while the characters change gender, they keep their relative personality…frenetic and calm. It makes sense. Gender doesn’t really matter here, it’s the tone, the feeling, the vitality that the character emits. Keeping that consistent works best.
I am looking forward to the next rehearsal that I can attend to see what will happen. Thank you artists for letting us into your world.