Monday, February 23, 2009

It's not over there...

Well, technically, the show is done. We had our closing night last weekend, but we had two performances at Women's Jail #9 in San Francisco last week, as our final performances, and what an AMAZING experience! They were, hands down, the best audiences we had. I am not saying that the audiences at USF weren't great, but you really felt that these women soaked in every word. Even though you expected them to be jaded and cut-off, they absorbed everything, and were affected by every monologue. They laughed, they were silenced, and at times, they were overwhelmed and had to leave. Statistically, more of these women have had the same circumstances and hardships as the women in the monologues, and you could feel the weight these monologues carried for that reason. During Coochi Snorcher, during the hardest memory, a woman, immediately stood up, said "Gotta go" and rushed off. There was no apology necessary, no explanation. We knew, and we wished we could have helped somehow. Maybe the show did. 

We had a talk-back afterwards, and the women asked us questions. The most common were: "How can I get involved?" and "Where can I get one of those shirts?" We put our super sexy logo on a t-shirt and didn't know how to respond, since these women don't get to wear anything but orange. We were touched, though. Some had seen the show before, whether they were in a year ago and saw last year's cast, or they saw it before they were arrested, but most had not seen the show, and they're responses were so honest, and so rewarding.

It was a beautiful experience. Something I was told about by past casts, and something I will tell future casts and friends. There is nothing like it. And what strikes me most is that I am waking up and falling asleep, thinking about how to help those women. How to give them more theater, how to get them to perform this show, and, selfishly, how to get that feeling back. I hope apathy doesn't creep in, I hope this fire stays, but with every v-day, there is a wave of action, and then the tide recedes. 

I'm going to fight the tide.

Much much much vagina love,

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Vaginas need to talk....and TALK!

The show is on its feet!!! We have had two run-throughs and the girls are looking great on stage. Of course, after every rehearsal I think about completely changing the staging. Last night the Executive Producer of the company hosting THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES approached me, and reminded me of an idea I brought up during my interview, and now I am reconsidering. But with so little rehearsal time, is it wise to switch things up radically? (Cast, don't worry, you can handle anything, it is only my sanity I am thinking of.)

So, I figured I wasn't going to sleep very well last night, but I slept like a baby- I had had a long weekend...and this morning I jumped right back into hyper-tension mode. Which is good- it kicks my ass into gear.

This is such an amazing experience, and I feel like I've learned a lot. I know now that when I'm stressed, I just remember what I'm doing this for, and I relax all my muscles. Julie and I are pouring positive energy into this project, and hopefully we'll have a surplus, so we can reserve all the positive energy until tech week...because we'll need it.

I had a really rewarding experience on Sunday. The girls had come together for the first run-thru off-book (I had the girls memorize their monologues) and it was the first time they had an audience after rehearsing their monologues with me, and it was exhilarating! I had so many moments where I thought "I can't believe I am lucky enough to be affiliated with this show." The girls are working so hard, and I think people are going to love every minute of this show, and it hit me how proud I was.

The show opens in a week and two days...A WEEK AND TWO DAYS! OH GOD! It is such a fast process, and the girls are rocking every minute of it. It is going to be a great show.

Send good vagina vibes our way!

Vagina Love,