March 23. . . Development Opportunities and Air-Earth-Fire-Water at The Studio@620
This week is busy sending out applications for script development opportunities, and getting the word out about The Studio@620’s performance of Air-Earth-Fire-Water, which we couldn’t announce before the big Tampa premiere.
We’re on the bill with two short hilarious operas by the ever-inventive Tom Sivak, who kindly invited us to share the stage.
I miss the dress rehearsal, since we had two interviews for Arts In scheduled long before the 620 show and I’m the recording engineer. But when I arrive, Helen and Paula have gently reworked the flamboyant outdoor parachute action to beautifully fill The Studio@620’s indoor performance space and low ceiling. One edge of the parachutes does brush up against the first row of seats during Tidal Pulls, but fortunately people seem to enjoy that.
I didn’t think anyone would be there, since we only had 6 days to get the word out. But we’ve got a full house and many friends, and everyone enjoys Tom’s delightful lyrics and skillful melodies.
His first piece is about two birds trapped in a cage, with the exuberant male bird played by Colleen Cherry, who was a WWII woman pilot at American Stage’s reading of Flying last year.
In Tom’s last piece, Colleen is half of a rock ’n’ roll couple. She and her man love singing rock ’n’ roll and when she finds out he’s been cheating on her by singing opera, there ensues one of the most hilarious and drawn-out death scenes ever. The opera singer just won’t die, no matter how many gunshot sounds Colleen made by hitting a snare drum my husband Matt had tuned up for the occasion – he just keeps singing while Tom seamlessly switches between rock and opera on piano. . . until Tom puts him out of his misery.
Air-Earth-Fire-Water was in between those two pieces. And as when Flying transferred to The Studio@620 for its St Pete run this fall, many people enjoyed the intimate setting even more. And it was easier to hear the actors speak in the quiet, open room.
It’s a beautiful performance that gets a rousing response. We’re all sorry it’s over, and give fond farewells and hope to find another place to perform it again soon, and other ways to work together.
A.J. packs up quickly when it’s finished, since he has to drive to Lakeland to deliver a singing telegram.
Much of the week was spent on long applications to new play development workshops and festivals, writing artist statements and revising development goals now that The Burlesque Astronomy Play has changed so much.
That is the hard work of playwriting, sending scripts and applications out constantly, and carefully. For all the good things that have happened with my scripts, they’ve been rejected hundreds and hundreds of times. I just keep trying.