Our latest show is over. It wasn’t without its issues and we’re all tired, but it was resoundingly successful. We had the best numbers we’ve ever had for a summer production, by a solid margin. I was most surprised by how many people commented that heard the songs before, just never known what they were from. They’d never heard of The Fantasticks. I didn’t realize that the music had been so pervasive at one time.
Yesterday we tore down the set, cleared the theater, and painted over the beautiful blue moon on the floor. It’s always difficult to take apart something you worked so hard on and put so much of yourself into. An emptied theater feels depleted and hollow, like a water bottle that’s been drained and discarded. There is a sadness that mingles with the euphoria of accomplishment, and a pinch of relief colors the satisfaction of knowing that the hard work is finished. It’s truly a strange sensation.
Of course, that empty theater will have a completely different feel in a few weeks. We’ll hold auditions and start rehearsing, and the room will be saturated with potential. The actors will start filling the space with… well, all of themselves, and the set will begin to grow and take space. The cast and crew will start to build relationships and develop trust – you need to know that everyone will do their part and will help you if you drop a line or forget your blocking. It’s immensely rewarding to watch as they find their rhythm and turn a script into a beautifully orchestrated dance.
In case you can’t tell, I may already be feeling nostalgic for the show. Usually, I have a good week, at least, before that happens. But this was our first musical, and it took more from us than usual.
The good news is that we’ll have auditions again in a month or so, this time for La dama duende, or The Phantom Lady by Pedro Calderón de la Barca. I can’t wait – I’m always happiest when there are sword fights.