Working With and Against the Flow

It has been an amazing and somewhat terrifying week at Wayside Theatre this week. Tonight (in just an hour and a half) we open our Emerging Artists program, George Washington: Young Man, Young Country at the Old Town Courthouse. We’ve also been rehearsing a world premiere of Steve Przybylski’s Shadow of the Raven: Stories of Edgar Allan Poe, which will open next weekend and tomorrow is our first rehearsal on stage for that piece.

Needless to say, we’re stretched a bit thin and also a bit frazzled, but I’m continually impressed and awed by the work our artists and administrators do with so little, and when they are under the gun.

Our Education Director, Sarah Blackwell, has done a wonderful job with George Washington. The play is written and performed by high schoolers, who at the dress rehearsal I saw on Wednesday, were doing some awesome work. I can’t wait to see the opening night performance. Sarah has guided these children brilliantly and I’m sure the run of the play (through October 14) will be another great learning experience for the cast, as well as a treat for the audiences. Would that we had our expansion completed so we could do more of this on a regular basis.

And speaking of October 14, we are all only slightly nervous about the debut of Shadow. You never know if a new play will work, and quite honestly, the theatre needs a “hit” right now. You can feel that the show has the potential to be that “hit” and you can sense it in the actors and designers as well as the playwright, as they really knuckle down to work for what promises to be a grueling tech week.

When we are up against it, we do often do our best and most creative work, and yet, I’d love to see our energies focused when we didn’t quite feel the push and pull of understaffing and budget woes so keenly. Amazing talent here at The Theatre of the Valley, and they are going to really prove it in these next 9 days.

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