Directing short plays is delightful. You only have to rehearse for an hour or less per rehearsal to have an impact on a play. Another delightful thing: having the playwright handy to answer questions. Directing three plays for New Play Cafe’s Legends (in ten minutes or less) provides thrice the delight.
We recently rehearsed Kurt Kalbfleisch’s Suspended and Tom Steward’s The Only Real Diner in Town, at my condo and had a great time. We’re sharing casts and these two plays had a lot of crossover. We started by talking about schedules.
We set a few future dates so the actors would have two rehearsals before we get into the space. At New Play Cafe, the space is never a theatre. This time it’s the back patio of DeMi Cafe Cafe, on Adams Ave. at Park Blvd. in Uptown.
Both plays are cerebral and full of emotional shifts so I wanted to talk through them first. I laid out my “must haves” for the casts. Kurt got to give a lot of background, and the actors had questions about Suspended. My “must haves” had to do with how men, and especially Marines, stand in the face of danger. You can read about my take on this here.
Tom was busy working on the set of a film he wrote so we had to save our questions for a future rehearsal. My “must haves” for …Diner are different than for Suspended. The actors can have their tongues closer to their cheeks in this one.
They also have great secrets and are playing a great game with each other. And there are props, lots of props. While one play is a dramatic tone poem, the other is a limerick with a surprise ending. I think you will like them both. For more information on Legends (in ten minutes or less) visit: http://newplaycafe.com/shows/.
Thanks and I hope to see you at the Cafe-turned-theatre in September!