"Hysterical, campy fun!"
- Tony Brown, cleveland.com

"Full of suspense, romance, drama and lots of laughs!"

- Dan Shaurette, Out of the Coffin podcast

This extraordinary one-act drama deftly explores the evolution of the centuries-old vampire myth.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hey Ladies!

Okay, let me begin by saying this tour is really wearing me out. We have performed seven performances in seven days (traditionally we get Saturdays off, Jennings was a bonus) and I have not been engaging in any other extra-social business. I try to get to sleep at a reasonable hour. But waking up I feel like I have been hit by a bus.

Driving home from Akron today was a real grind, I kept nodding off at stoplights. Okay, not really. I don't want to worry anyone. So really, I didn't. Not more than once.

Now ... is it the load-in, load-out thing, the lifting heavy objects - or is it the show itself? No idea. The heavy lifting thing isn't really a big deal, the set for Seeing Red two years ago was much more strenuous, much heavier, much more awkward.

But we need to set up and tear down:
A curtain
The set facade
Racks for 18 costumes
A tub loaded with props
Fog machine
Plenty of odd make-up extras and wigs
The sound system
And then there's the show itself. Not much time to stop and breathe.

We have been blessed to have assistance at many locations. Clague ended with a lot of good friends helping us tear down. And today the girls of Our Lady of the Elms were extremely helpful in helping us pack it all together and load it out.

And today's performance? Man. I love that venue. Those girls really surprised me last year, which was our first visit to the school. We were performing Two By Chekhov, a set of the Russian playwright's hilarious one-acts. How well they would go over for a modern high school audience was a mystery.

Well. The girl at Our Lady of the Elms were prepared. They had actually read the Chekhov plays prior to our arrival. They knew what to look for in the performances - and I swear they laughed at absolutely everything.


This year, however ... a vampire play? It actually made me nervous, some of the questionable discussions about faith and God, there are some charged phrases in the production, which have really popped with the high school audiences.

As Elaine mentioned yesterday, the satire settles down a bit in the third arc, and what is at stake becomes quite serious. I think this is good, there's actually something to be afraid of, eternal damnation perhaps, that people take seriously in a way they may not all the vampire stuff.

But oh, that final arc. I was concerned the teenage audiences wouldn't like it, that it might feel condescending. I tried very hard for the conversation to be realistic ... only Emily and Dusten take it to such a level it is impossible not to laugh. And it did really seem like the girls today were laughing at every single word the actors said.

That was a good day. Well worth all the effort.

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