Ashland


June 12 - June 15

 

Tuesday - Day Two

 



The Tall God costume on display
Well, we start, in the Black Swan Theatre, with "Wit", written by a kindergarten teacher in Atlanta named Maggie Edson who happened to win, for this play, a much deserved Pulitzer Prize. It's set in a University Hospital Comprehensive Cancer Center and the running time is about 95 minutes without an intermission. There are nine in the cast but the majority of the work is done, brilliantly, by the lead actress Linda Alper who never leaves the stage. At times we thought about "Tongue of a Bird" but as good as that play/production was, this was even better. The structure of the work and the weaving of the narrative and the present and past action were spot on. The direction was also tight, especially the way the actors were used to move set pieces and create different spaces and at times use their voices as sound effects. It was surprising to read in the program that the author has 'little interest in writing another play. Instead she says she finds greater creativity every day in the classroom with her little charges.' When we left the theatre, Nico had this huge grin on her face and is now determined to write again.

Nico & Philip in the Angus Bowmer Theatre before "Night of the Iguana"

After a brief rest, then a good dinner, we entered the Angus Bowmer Theatre to see the Tennessee Williams classic "The Night of the Iguana". It's always interesting going into the Bowmer because one always wonders what sort of set one will see and how difficult it might be to strike it for the next production. Since the next three plays that we see will be in this theatre it was something that we were particularly looking at. The festival did not disappoint! The scene is the Costa Verde Hotel in Puerto Barrio, Mexico and the time is September, 1940. This play ran just under three hours with one intermission and we didn't feel the time at all, as we were pulled into the story. One can easily see in this play, as with most of his others, that Williams is in fact the master playwright that people say he is. The characters are all extremely well defined and what they each have to say is always interesting. I would be remiss if I did not mention one technical note. Just as we are coming to the end of act one there is a major storm brewing and we see lightning and hear thunder but that's not all. It then starts to rain. That's right - rain - on stage - for a good thirty seconds - constant rain. A very good effect! It has been also interesting to see some familiar faces. The two leads in this production was the guy who played Pericles and the woman who played one of the gods in "Good Person" - both were very different characters. Mostly for the information of Martin and Or, we will not get to see BW Gonzalez this time around because she is in two plays that we are not seeing. One has not yet started ("The Trojan Women") and the other was sold out ("Crumbs from the Table of Joy"). It was a good day of theatre and we look forward to the two plays we see on Wednesday and the last one on Thursday.

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Just to let people know, we have finally found summer!!! There has been NO rain since we got here, and yesterday the predicted temperature was around 100 degrees F (38 degrees for you metric people out there) and there are no clouds up above. Pretty good, huh?

 

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 on to day 3

 

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