It’s hard to believe that two years have gone by since I last directed/produced Prisoner’s Dilemma (written by Sterling Lynch.) I had intended to follow up that production with Home in Time in August(2010). Unfortunately, time constraints and a prolonged period of unemployment meant that I was unable to pull it off. 2010 was my worst year ever financially. In fact, I went into debt for the first time in my life. For these reasons Home in Time was shelved. It sucked to bail on the show, but it was the right decision.
In 2011, I finally found steady work and applied for the Ottawa Fringe Festival; however, entries to this festival are determined by lottery (a system I fully endorse). Unlike in 2010, my name was not pulled from the hat. I opted not to go for the Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) option, where the artist(s) finds their own space to perform their show at the Fringe. Why? The short answer is that it takes a lot more work and it is much harder to draw an audience to these venues. With two failures at producing Home in Time, I decided to shelve that idea/script for awhile.
For most of 2012, a combination of laziness, an unfortunate accident, and a general disinterest in theatre (my interest in most things is cyclical) kept me away from the director’s chair. In 2012, I didn’t even apply for Fringe. I completely forgot about the deadline. Clearly, theatre has not been in the forefront of my mind this year.
Then earlier in the month, over beer of course, I asked Sterling about another play of his, Paris is Dead, and what he thought should be done with it. This three act play Sterling considers his best work. After more discussion (this time over email and social media) we discussed the possibility of me taking it on as a director with Sterling as the producer. We came to the conclusion that before we could commit to this creative project we would have to do a read-through. Sometimes a never produced, original, script works better on the page than on the stage. Having actors read it out loud is crucial to get a sense of a play’s potential. Clearly, we would have to find some exceptional actors to help us out.
We got lucky! I was very excited when talented actors: Ray Besharah, Tess Mc Manus, Jen Capogreco, and Emma Godmere agreed to give us a hand with the read-through. Tomorrow night for the first time this play will be read aloud by actors in my living room. If all goes well, it might mark my return to the director’s chair!