This Week at the Theatre Job
Last week, many of you commented on my “reading room” at work. Notice that I said everyone else calls it the “furniture room.” Compare what I see when I read (usually the sun is a bit brighter, but it’s early) vs. when I turn around:
We opened Grand Concourse by Heidi Schreck on Friday. My good friend Laurisa, the African American women in the photos, plays a nun who is struggling with her faith. She runs a soup kitchen in the Bronx (Grand Concourse is an actual street). The young woman with rainbow colors in her hair plays a nineteen-year-old college drop out who decides she’s going to volunteer her time, but brings chaos to the kitchen instead. It’s been a wonderfully organized production process, and I’m so glad I get to work with amazing volunteers (including my husband, who designed the sound for the play). Here are some photos/video:
The lighting designer for this show herniated a disk in his back, so I spent much of my week being his hands as he walked me through what to do over Facebook video messenger! Thus, I didn’t have loads of time to read. . .
I also stayed at the theatre quite late to assist with auditions for our June show, Between Riverside & Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis, which won the Pulitzer for drama in 2015. It’s about an African American police officer who was shot off duty as he drunkenly left a bar. He won’t take a settlement from the city to clear this all up; instead, he wants them to acknowledge that he was in the right. It should be a bangin’ show! A young black woman walked in the door with a friend who did come to audition. I asked her, “Do you act?” and she said, “I act out.” I immediately dug everything about her, so I talked her into auditioning — she’s never acted. She got the part.
Lastly, I’ve been ordering licenses and scripts and perusal copies for shows we’re going to put on in 2020! I know that seems forever away, but my boss has to pitch these shows to potential directors. Piano/conductor scores have to be pre-pre-ordered and given to music directors so they can prepare, etc. Let’s just say my desk is covered in paper and books, and I’ve taken to a cardboard box filing system.
This Week in TV & Film
Oftentimes, I’ll watch an episode of something while I eat dinner just to chill out and not have to talk. Most of the time that is Jeopardy!, and this week a contestant broke the record for most money won in a single day. The guy is a professional sports gambler and incredibly smart, so I’m not surprised. His weird bets — $12, 582, or some such nonsense — just seem silly for the sake of it, which annoys me. I also finished the latest season of The Santa Clarita Diet, meaning I have to hold all that info in my brain for a year. I almost never watch shows with arcs, but this one is worth it. Hilarious, smart, fun.
This Week in Reading: Finished Books
By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey was only one of two books I finished this week. In fairness, it’s 492 pages long, much of that war strategy, such as when to switch out horses and whether to use a mounted or foot division. And it doesn’t help that Jackie @ Death by Tsundoku and I get to texting back and forth about what we’re reading, which I swear doubles her reading speed and completely halts mine! This is totally what #ReadingValdemar is about, though: enjoying my friend’s company as we discuss books.
The second novel was Vow of Celibacy by Erin Judge. My review started one way and ended another, which relived so may of you rooting for good books starring fat women to make their way into my hands. Thanks for your support!
This Week in Reading: Books in Progress
I’m still slowly reading Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. It’s book #2 in the Mark Renton collection, making this the second series I’ve committed to this year. I’m surprised by how much better I understand the novel, given when I first read it in 2004 I couldn’t understand a lick of Scottish slang or dialect and am now an old pro. Also, things that happen to characters in the movie version — the death of Allison’s baby, Spud soiling the sheets — happens to other characters in the novel. I’m glad director Danny Boyle consolidated some of these minor characters.
After reading the first chapter of Once Upon a River by Bonnie Jo Campbell aloud to my husband, I was terrified he would ask me to pick a different book. There is a rape scene, and as uncomfortable as things can make me, he will be extremely disturbed long after I’m fine. I thought about what Jackie @ Death By Tsundoku asks me: “Why does Mercedes Lackey include rape in all of her stories?!” Furthermore, Jackie asks if Lackey’s books would be different if the rape was excluded. No, they wouldn’t. In Campbell’s novel, though, the assault is the catalyst for the whole story, a pivot point on which the main character changes her whole life. I’m glad Jackie has me asking questions like this.
I just barely started An Untamed State by Roxane Gay, and according to my reading chart, I’m about 180 pages behind. Woops. #Ambitious.
Next Week in Reading:
I’ll continue reading Trainspotting, which I’m taking at a ridiculously leisurely pace so I don’t get too behind on my books for Grab the Lapels. I’ll finish An Untamed State, and I’ll start a book by Amal @ The Misfortune of Knowing called A Case of First Impression. Her author name is A.M. Blair, and the book is “a modern twist on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.”
To keep up with #ReadingValdemar, I will need to start Winds of Fate right away, reading about 30 pages per day. Lastly, I’m going to start Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin as part of a buddy read with Shell @ Books by the Cup. We both wanted to read a book we own, so I proposed we each read a book by an African American and answer the same four questions about the African American experience in a shared blog post.