Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Odd Couple

I don't normally direct a spring play at the high school. It's much harder to work around spring sports schedules than fall ones (don't ask why -- just accept it), and I really kind of like having the last couple of months of school extra-curricular-free. However, I've done it once before, and I did one this year as well. I have a couple of girls who are amazing, and both of whom are headed off to college to major in theatre and intend on pursuing some type of career in it, so I thought I had to do something special for them. We did the female version of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, because it had a small cast and two very strong female roles. We spent five weeks in rehearsal -- about a week less than normal -- because time was tight, and because I knew the cast I'd chosen could handle it. It was tough going in -- our dress rehearsal the night before opening was pretty bad -- but the cast pulled it together and did three good performances last weekend. My leads, pictured above, were wonderful, as I knew they would be. I had some doubts about some of the other, minor characters, but they came through. I've been bemoaning the lack of support our community gives to the arts, though. For three performances, we barely had over 100 people in the audience -- total. No one from the school board was there. No one from the administration was there (well, the high school principal came on Friday night, but left at intermission to go to a track meet). We had some great press prior to the show: the Fairmont newspaper ran an article on us, and the local Martin County weekly ran a front page photo and article (that I'd written) about the show. And yet the audiences just weren't there. I felt disappointed in my community and bad for my kids. To their credit, they didn't let it get to them, and performed like they would have (I imagine) for a full house. It was a great show; it's too bad more people didn't see it.


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