March 24, 2004
Return to Paradise

Well, that’s the way it feels after 5 weeks in Boston. Wonderful work, wonderful people–it’s just that Boston in February is pretty gray. We created a new play Lost City with them from a standing start to opening night in 4-1/2 weeks. We’ve done that a lot before, of course, but not in that time span and not starting with nothing but a title. Elizabeth arrived Feb. 17, creating a sound score derived entirely from the actors’ vocal improvisations, digitally processed of course. Most of it was recorded in the bathroom–the only place we could find that was a bit insulated from the traffic.

Lost City was amazingly successful, given the adversities involved. Acceptable by opening night, steadily developing through the weekend, with very good audience response. We’re in the final stages of editing a documentary of the whole process for our radio show centered on the making of Lost City. We think it’ll hold interest for the whole hour, but that may just be the delusion of nuts who’ve spent a life in theatre. Curious to see the response. It should be up on the website in a couple of weeks.

And here in Sebastopol, it’s freakily warm, with every kind of fragrance you can imagine, and we have until April 5th to stage and rehearse a new group show Hot Fudge with our ensemble. It’s mostly older material, vintage funny pieces from Lancaster and Milwaukee, mixed with enough new stuff to keep the panic level tuned up.

And barking and scratching at the gates are the deadlines (what a name, they never die!), with Long Shadow, the piece with Foothill Theater about a 1944 Nevada County murder, for a staged reading in May, plus a readable draft of Drake’s Drum for June.

In a couple of weeks we fly back to Northwestern University to do some “distinguished alumni” workshops with the Theatre Dept., and Elizabeth heads to Albuquerque for a community radio conference. The weeds took over our front yard while we were gone, but we’re slowly rolling back the barbarian tide.