Over the Lips workshop/reading

Hey all – a very, very tired bloggergal here today. Busy weekend – and busy good times working on Over the Lips yesterday.

With a few days of cooler weather late last week, the studio wasn’t as much of an oven as it can be this time of year, and we all arrived on time (11 a.m.) to trudge up the stairs and get to work. Director/dramaturge Kerri MacDonald started the gang with a nice and easy table read, then moved on to having the gang improv some chosen scenes after the morning break. After lunch, it went into rehearsal mode with a stop and start read, as Kerri directed the gang in preparation for the public reading in the evening.

We managed to have a quick dinner at Betty’s (Skal was closed) – not so quick on getting the tab, though – and a few audience folks beat us to the theatre. In the end, we started the reading on time (right at 7 p.m.) and we had to lock the doors, since we had no front of house staff to stand by the box office during the reading; so I hope no one got stuck outside (but I did warn you).

Overall, the day went really well. From my stand-point, it was very helpful to hear the new text – and audience reaction to the script. We had a very small, but extremely generous group – in both sharing comments and donations to the theatre – come out to the reading, including my folks, who schlepped in from Burlington. The audience liked the new stuff – mostly flash-back scenes – and the general concensus was that these scenes needed more consideration regarding placement and length. Several audience folks remarked how impressed they were with the cast.

Big shouts to Kerri MacDonald, my friend/director/dramaturge, and our amazing cast: Michael Harvey, Katherine Grainger, Adrian Rebacus, Ashima Suri and Martha Spence. Michael and Martha were with us the last time we table workshopped the script (and Martha has been with the play since it’s New Ideas inception), and had a sense of how the script had changed. Katherine, Adrian and Ashima were new to our gang – and they hit the ground running; and Katherine and Ashima (who was working on a sprained foot) had the least time with the script, as they were both emergency back-up folks. Our cast rocked!

Highlight of the evening: Michael helping Kerri and I clean up a beverage spill half-way through the reading, mopping up the puddle of juice – in heels! That man has ridiculously gorgeous legs too.

Also thanks to all the folks who came out to hear the reading – and provided support and feedback. All very helpful for the next draft.

Tomorrow night, I’ll be dropping by the rehearsal for You Are Here to see their first stumble-through – back Wednesday with the scoop on that.

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