Saturday, January 21, 2012

Asylum No More -- Last Night was Opening Night

We had a decent house, sold more than half the seats. Not bad when the show doesn't start until 11PM, and it is POURING down rain on a Friday night in January. We handed out feedback forms and writing utensils before the show and almost everyone took the time afterward to complete the three questions. This after a lots of laughter, lots of applause for the actors who really delivered. I saw more places to cut, places I want to change, and the actors helped to illuminate the script so I could see and hear what I needed to see and hear. All feedback for the actors was glowing. As it should be! The director, well I can't say enough about Brian Demar Jones. He was a gift. I found him because I needed a new director after mine bailed, and Sven Bonnichsen sent me his headshot because Brian had applied to audition and Sven noticed that Brian also directs. Lucky me, Brian was brand new to Portland and hadn't yet been snapped up. By now, he is overloaded with projects, and I will not likely ever get to work with him again as he will be employed by all the big theaters from now on. So, I'm celebrating the fact that we are working together now, and he has been a tremendous help to me on Asylum No More.
We do it again tonight, for our second and last time in this run. It's a festival, we have only two nights. Maybe we will get to do a full production later in the year. I will do my best to raise the funds. All but one person who turned in feedback said they wanted to see the show in full production. The one negative person was negative in every way -- except toward the cast. When I read that feedback (so out of step with everyone else) I suddenly heard my NYC friend speaking in my ear "remember, when playwrights give negative feedback, they are telling you the problems they have in their own plays. It is not about you." So, I took it like that. Because seriously, it didn't seem to be about my play. After tonight, I will write about what I plan to change in the play, based on feedback, based on my own observations. Because it is, of course, still a work in progress.

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