Sunday, December 21, 2008

Perf #17 (Final rehearsal!)

Show had the shortest run time!!! 2 hours 26 (inc 14 min intermission)

Full house for the final performance in Public LAB.

Late start; The Public had the house all cleared at 7:05pm but at the places call, one of the actors had cut himself shaving and was bleeding pretty badly. Producer and Stage Manager ran upstairs and he put a bandaid on and we started the show. By half way through Act 1 he was able to take the bandaid off and it had stopped bleeding.

Audience was VERY quiet during the first five scenes. Audience's energy and the actors' energy all picked up once the party started.

1. We already gave the Dressing Room key back to The Public
2. We're going to the take the costumes to the dry cleaners today. They will be available for pick up after January 5.

Struck all the props/furniture last night. They are all in the center of the Shiva.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Perfs # 15 & 16 (Rehs # 26 & 27)

Running times:
Matinee was 2 hours 26 (inc 12 min intermission)
Evening show ran 2 hours 25 (inc 13 min intermission)

1. Shows were good today - smooth flow. The matinee audience had a quiet energy but they were still responsive and engaged. Evening audience was much quieter; still engaged but a little more fidgety and not as vocal.
2. Last performance tomorrow at 7pm!
3. Strike will be happening on Monday.
4. We had a lovely cell phone go off during the matinee ... twice; during the "Karen"/"Andy" bathroom scene. The culprit? Sitting directly in front of the sink. You would think after it went off once, you might turn it off?

1. We're gonna have petty cash receipts to hand over on Sunday PM.

1. What should we do regarding dry cleaning/laundering the clothes that belong to the actors? Any suggestions?
2. Should we bring all costume pieces that aren’t going home with actors tomorrow night down to the Shiva?

1. Gonna have an extra menorah!!!
2. Have a TON of the green martini mix left over - you might want to think of returning it if you can!
3. Stage Management will pull all props and furniture to the middle of the Shiva tomorrow evening. Do you have any boxes for us?

Stage Management:
1. Let’s remember the soft white napkins for "Doug".
2. I’m gonna tape the iPod recorder back together for tomorrow’s show.
3. We MUST get a new NYTimes. The one we have won’t last for tomorrow’s show. Can someone pick one up?
5. The flat unit that is under the house - the black standing flat - we need to return that tomorrow before/after the show to the Luesther.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Perf #14 (Rehearsal #25)

Running Time 2 hours 28 mins (inc 14 min intermission), 2 mins longer than last night.

Latest start tonight - Bad weather, and of course the four shows at The Public that all start at 8pm on a Friday night, make the lobby PACKED.

Audience was fantastic - VERY vocal. We think the two minutes that were added to act one tonight were because of having to hold for laughter, especially in the first scene and the party scene.

Lines were good tonight again. We're onna email some cast regarding specific sections or specific cues that are consistently being missed.

The Public Ops crew was on their A-Game tonight: they shoveled pigeon alley for us so the actors weren't trudging to the rabbi room through snow. We're gonna take a look at it when we get there tomorrow morning - we might see if they'll throw down salt if it seems slick.

Any word on the work call on Sunday PM? Or should we remove the sink and wall unit?

Kia changed the fade times on LX 104 from 8 to 5.

1. So based on a rewrite in Act I, Scene 2, we have cut sound Q21.
2. The women's dressing room page system is now working - someone had just turned the dial away from Shiva and that dial is tricky. We took care of it.

1. Menorah #10 was SMASHED.
2. The past two nights, for some strange reason, the creamer has 'squirted' like it always has. Weird.

Stage Management:
1. Let's chat regarding the sour apple mix. Hopefully it was better tonight.
2. We will pick up more white napkins.
3. We should get a new water cooler before the show.
4. Let's also clean out the fridge tomorrow in between shows so we don't have to do it on Sunday.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Perf #13 (Rehearsal #24)

Running time 2 hours 26 (inc 13 min intermission).

And another late start.

Show was very smooth. The cast did great with the line cuts that were emailed out today. Energy started a little low but definitely picked up as the acts progressed. The audience warmed up as the night went on also - started off quiet but by the end were very vocal.

Post show discussion went very well - we had about 1/3 of the audience stay and many of them stayed after to talk to the actors and creative team.

Evidently the dry cleaners told us we had 'an account' there – Is this true? If not, then we think it might have gotten charged to NYSF.

Any word on the work call on Sunday PM? Or should I remove the sink and wall unit?

1. Speaking of LX 104 - can the lights come down quicker on "Bruce" and "Susan"?
2. Also can we make LX 125 longer?

Stage Manager got the note regarding Q90. We'll make it work.

1. We discussed the panty hose – Did we buy enough to last through the end of the run?

Menorah #9 didn't break ... but is very crooked. We will put #10 out to use tomorrow.

Stage Management:
1. How's the bell look, dent wise? Should we try 'banging' the dents out again?
2. We should clean out the fridge on Saturday in between shows.
3. We should also put out a new Darfur letter for tomorrow's performance. And maybe a new envelope? I think there are extras in that envelope.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Perf # 12 (Rehearsal # 23)

Running Time 2 hours 26 (inc 14 min intermission).

And another late start ...

Show wasn't time-wise that much longer but there were some issues working in the new material from the past few days. We need to be looking at the changes on: "Andy" / "Susan" entrance to the party, the Darfur letter sequence, and the end of the last diner scene. We think the extra minute run time tonight was literally because of getting lost within dialogue and not knowing what comes next. Show started with a really good amount of energy and as act one progressed, the energy dropped.

The audience tonight wasn't 'inattentive' but just very non-verbal. I think the quiet audience just made the energy drop lower.

Fixed 104. Thanks!

Can we cut sound 90 - the cell phone picture sound? Stage Manager can NEVER hear it and we just have no idea if we're doing it correctly. We just kinda call it and hope it's at the right place but can't hear it. Has anyone that's seen the show noticed it?

Is "Susan" gonna rip pantyhose EVERY night? Are we providing those? Who's getting them and paying for them?

Menorah #8 died tonight. Broke a wine glass. We will go to Kmart before tomorrow's run and purchase another one.

Stage Management:
For tomorrow, we need: more McDonalds napkins; carrots; cherry tomatoes; and hummus.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Perf # 11 (Rehearsal # 22)

Running time 2 hours 23 (inc 12 min intermission) ... another 4 minutes cut.

1. Very late start – probably due to the POURING snow.
2. Quickest show yet!
3. Worked new cuts into script today.
4. Will rehearse on Wednesday from 4-6pm. At this time we will work some problem spots and work in the last few cuts/changes.
5. Audience member's cell phone went off during the first scene tonight – the first ringing cell phone of the run!

1. Can the lights on "Bruce" and "Susan" in the bathroom be lower when "Philip Roth" gets sent away – LX 104?

1. We like "Andy's" white shirt but think we should cut the tie. He looks a little too dressed up for the party.

1. Menorah #8 survived the run tonight!
2. Broke another martini glass; during rehearsal not during the performance. That was our last 'extra' but we still have enough for the runs. We just can't break another one!

Stage Management:
1. We should put a little more cocktail sauce in the cup. Tonight there wasn't enough for "Bruce" to spoon out. Maybe three full spoonfuls?
2. Need to empty more sugar packets for tomorrow's performance.
3. We're gonna get more creamers.
4. Need to make sure the napkins are set on the table for the top of show so that "Doug" can clean his face.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Perfs # 9 & 10 (Rehs # 20 & 21)

Perf #9, 2pm - running time: 2 hours 29 (inc 11 min intermission) ... 1 minute shorter.
Perf #10, 7pm - running time: 2 hours 28 (inc 13 min intermission) ... 3 more minutes cut.

Shows were really great today; both were very smooth. Both sets of audiences were super responsive and gave standing ovations at curtain call.

We WILL definitely use the rehearsal time on Tuesday. Since the performance that night is at 7pm we will have to rehearse from 3-5pm. What we will be working is still TBD as we might be getting some more cuts. Wednesday's rehearsal status is still TBD. At the matinee today, no one called "Line!"

Sound: Can the curtain call music be louder?

Props: Menorah #7 lasted for both shows today AND only a small piece broke off this evening. We might try to fix it with some super glue for Tuesday's performance. Maybe we can set a performance record with this one...

Stage Management:
1. Coffee in the cups is cut. The actors might not like this but it keeps getting spilled.
2. Let's roll the poster up a little tighter.
3. For Tuesday's run, we need to pick up some more vegetable pate and food coloring. Let's go ahead and pick up one more cranberry and one more black cherry juice also.

Next Rehearsal: Tuesday 12/16 3pm.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Perf #8 (Rehearsal # 19)

Running time 2 hours 37 (inc 13 min intermission)

And yet another late start - The lobby of the Public is SO PACKED around 8pm that it's really gonna be impossible to get a punctual start time.

House was VERY responsive - standing ovation and 'whoops.' The show was EXTREMELY smooth tonight and very articulate. The beats were clear and the show really flew tonight.

Didn't get to work all the script cuts into the show tonight. Perhaps we save them till tomorrow night; and then we can implement them into the show on Tuesday.

Rehearsals next week (should we choose to use them) will be on Tuesday from 4-6pm and on Wednesday from 4-6pm.

Scenic: Stage Manager covered the rough edges of the sink corners with white spike tape. It looked fine. Maybe we'll get some more putty for tomorrow and try to fill it in that way? Or if no one has any oppositions to leaving it with white tape, then we'll just leave it as is.

Lights: we looked at LX 98, fixed the wait time and the fade time to be the same; they were 7 and 6. We changed them both to 6. It's not actually getting brighter because LX98 doesn't have any parts; we think it might just be an optical illusion.

Costumes: "Bruce" wore the jacket. It looked great.

1. Menorah #6 = two pieces.
2. Boxes will be coming next week for us to pack up some of the props.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Perf #7 (Rehearsal #18)

Running time 2 hours 28 minutes.

We had another late start - busy lobby at The Public with FOUR shows going on. People just literally aren't making it into the theatre till 8pm.

The crowd tonight was definitely the least responsive we have had to this point. They seemed to still be engaged and invested, just not as vocal.

Had a post show discussion - all the cast voluntarily participated. And we had probably about 1/3 of the house stay for the discussion.

"Andy" cut his hand tonight on the rough edge of the sink. He's fine - We cleaned it and put Neosporin on it and gave him a bandaid. But Stage Management will fill out an injury report regardless.

2 hours of OT confirmed for cast & stage management.

We don't know what Mandy Patinkin is doing in the Anspacher but it was quite noisy tonight, but not last night. What are the chances of them reducing the banging on the floor?

Re: "Andy's" hand. We think he cut it on the downstage edges of the sink where the ceramic is missing - Can we do something to fix this?

Light cue 98 seems weird - it takes us from the sofa area into the bathroom for Doug's placing of the prop. Tonight, the cue got very bright on both the bathroom and sofa area and then the lights went dim on the sofa area. Is this right?

1. Did we link sound 22 and 23?
2. Can we make the African music louder?

So evidentially "Doug's" belt broke tonight. Can we get him a new one?
Also, "Bruce" chose the sweater tonight but the director likes the blazer. Can we keep the blazer? The sweater just seems really small for some reason - it keeps 'riding up.'

Menorah #5 = broken.
We need to make the Russ and Daughter's bag look heavier. Let's put more stuff in it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Perf #6 (Rehearsal #17)

Running time 2 hours 26 (including 12 min intermission) - we've cut 16 minutes since yesterday.

We got a VERY late start due to nasty nasty weather and a PACKED Public Theater lobby. But once everyone milled in from the rain, the house was full. They were responsive; an intelligent audience. Largest laughs were at lines about Crosby Stills and Nash concert, vodka martinis not existing, and Mengele.

We worked in A LOT of new cuts tonight partly explaining why tonight's run was 16 minutes shorter than last night. But also the cast was energetic and the pace didn't lag.

Added the fan and open Rabbi Room door up until house opening. We think it helped. Also, the Public says the AC is working but it did feel better tonight.

We will be adding 2 hours of rehearsal time on Saturday. We will now rehearse from 2pm until 6pm.

The audience LOVED LOVED LOVED "Alison" tonight – every thing she said got HUGE laughs.

Is there a final verdict on whether or not "Susan" will kiss "Andy" and "Carl"? Or just "Carl"?

They also LOVED LOVED LOVED the masturbation scene tonight – there was non stop laughter throughout the whole scene.

We had a 'narrator' at house left who pretty much 'announced' to anyone that might have missed it one of the subtler prop placements. FUNNY.

We will be adding 2 hours of Overtime for cast and stage management.

Lights/Sound: We should talk about LX 18 and Sound 23. We have restaged the top of the "Susan"/"Andy" scene and we're kinda at a loss of when to call LX and the sound of the headphones going out, and if they should go together.

Great job focusing that light downstage. It looks great.

Can we look at the focus of that light we were talking about being on that guy's head? Director thinks that that scene with "Susan"/"Andy" looked dark on the column where they end the scene. I think maybe that light might have just slipped?

Sound: Cut sound cues 125 and 127

Costumes: Director talked to "Alison" about pulling her shirt down over her shoulders. She said she will fix it for tomorrow. Is "Bruce" definitely going to wear the blazer instead of the sweater? Let me know if you decide to still go with a new dress for "Karen". I'm waiting to talk to her about a fitting time until the director talks to her. Red underwear for "Karen" is coming?

Props: Menorah #4 bit the dust tonight. Looks like the cheap ones are gonna last for two shows.

Stage Management: will bring something to rehearsal that we can use to permanently close the oyster shells, besides the putty.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Perf # 5 (Rehearsal #16)

Running time 2 hours 43 minutes (including 13 minute intermission).

Show tonight was okay; it lagged at the beginning but picked up in the party. A lot of props within scenes were off and logistically, the show was not as clean as it has been. The lag added 7 minutes to the total run time in comparison to the Tuesday performance. New blocking was invented tonight; new props made entrances onstage. Just overall, the show was not the best it has been/can be but the audience seemed responsive.

The house was full. Audience was noisy – a lot of shifting in seats and moving of seats but from my view, it looked as if it had to do peering around the person in front them to make sure they were seeing what was happening.

We will be getting cuts tomorrow from DBK. We will be rehearsing from 4:15-6pm; what we work during this time will depend on the cuts.

1. At the top of Act II, the crying still needs to be louder.
2. At the top of Act II, sound cue 74; we don't want the intermission music to go all the way out before we hear Talking Heads. Maybe more of a tighter cross fade?

1. Since it is the actor's personal watch, he did not want to scotch tape it. For tonight, he just took it off. Is this okay? Is there something we can do besides scotch tape that will not hurt his watch?
2. Can we get red underwear, instead of the black pair?

1. Menorah #4 will see another performance. It looks like the cheap menorahs are gonna last for two performances each.
2. Since we're preseting new oysters every night using the same shells, we can permanently 'close' the others. We're gonna find something, like maybe rubber cement?, that we can use to permanently close the other shells.

Next Rehearsal:
Thursday 12/11 4.15pm - rehearsing: Ending, "Karen"/"Andy" bathroom scene, new cuts. Also tech time, to run the ending.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Perf # 4 (Rehearsal #15)

MANY cuts incorporated in rehearsals today.

Running time 2 hours 35 minutes (including 12 minute intermission).

Show was very clean tonight even with all of the changes and cuts. Line was called very few times and the actors seemed in control.

House was full and VERY responsive. Including some "woo hoos" when "Susan" kisses "Carl."

We may talk to house management about trying to 'wrangle' audience members and keep them from meandering around the playing space, especially during intermission, as we are working quickly to make sure the changeover happens, and don't want audience members putting their coats on the diner stools.

If we have time on Thursday, that we should look at the top of Act 2. Let's see how they go tomorrow and then maybe try to work them on Thursday?

Director thinks LX cue #125 (the transition from the diner back to "Karen"/"Bruce's" home) should be much slower.

1. At the top of Act II, crying will come in much louder.
2. Had some speaker/sound issues tonight including cell phone interference in the house speakers and a skipping/lagging QLab. Sound Designer stayed after the performance and we think we have it all straightened out.

1. We MUST scotch tape "Andy's" watch. Is that the actor's personal watch? Is there something we should cover the face with instead of scotch tape, that will not mess it up?
2. What was up with "Bruce's" wardrobe tonight? His sweater seemed REALLY small and we kept seeing his underwear sticking out of the pants...

1. Cheap Menorah #1 saw its end tonight ... Another one bites the dust. That makes three.
2. Got a bunch of new oyster shells. We had destroyed the previous ones. We brought them home to boil them. The kitchen smells like raw oysters. But they're clean!

Stage Management:
1. We should be using new chopsticks every night. Let's make sure this happens. It looks weird when they pull out ones already out of the packaging.
2. We think we know why "Susan" and "Andy" are not eating the rice – Tonight, the container that "Susan" opened was the container filled with rocks. Have we labeled the tops of the boxes like we talked about? Putting 'rice' on the ones with rice in them? Let's make sure this happens.
3. Do we need more adhesive putty to finish all the oysters?

No rehearsal tomorrow.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Perf #3 (Rehearsal #14)

It snowed tonight...

Running time 2 hours 41 (4 minutes less), including 14 minute intermission.

The show was cleaner tonight and FASTER. There may be some cuts made over the next two days off, to be worked on at our Tuesday rehearsal. Audience tonight was overall responsive and very engaged, but NOISY.

We broke a martini glass tonight, but that’s okay. We have extras.

We noticed tonight that "Bruce’s" desk is not on the spike marks – we have never moved it. It’s about four inches stage right of each spike mark. We didn’t move it back because it’s been like that for a while.

We should probably consider scotch taping (or something similar) "Andy’s" watch. In both the first diner scene and the scene with "Susan," it was casting a pretty obvious reflection onto the upstage wall.

1. So funny – The cheap menorah didn’t break tonight.
2. New mugs are great.
3. Tuesday: replenish our perishables list.

Stage Management:
1. Will be giving "Doug" an earlier call for the top of Act 2.
2. Lets make sure we’re putting a new pack of chop sticks into the Chinese food bag each night. And maybe we should eventually discuss cutting the actual food – They haven’t eaten it yet.

Next Rehearsal: TUESDAY 3pm.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Perf #2 (Rehearsal #13)

FRIDAY 12/5, 2008
Running time: 2 hours 43 (4 minutes shorter) including 13 minute intermission.

The audience seemed responsive; but we need to make sure the boilers are off and the AC is on every night as part of pre-show set up.

Lights: LX Designers will meet tomorrow in the Shiva at 6:30 to fix a few focus issues. Then from 7:30-7:45 will adjust the lighting in the bathroom scene using stand-ins for actors.

Costumes: Costume Designer is going to talk to "Susan" re: getting wet; stage management is going to place the bin backstage and get a plastic pitcher.

1. Broke the second menorah. What do we do for tomorrow?
2. We are going to scotch tape the cell phone screens – they’re all throwing reflections.
3. We need four heavier-duty coffee mugs. The ones now are a little too light are getting knocked over super easily.

Stage Management:
1. We will NOT be preseting the poster on stage. "Doug" must take it on.
2. We need to get a new water cooler.
3. New coffee mugs; less coffee.
4. Add preset: plastic pitcher and plastic tub at intermission.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Perf #1 (Rehearsal #12)

THURSDAY 12/4, 2008
Running time 2 hours 47 minutes (including 13 minute intermission).

A great first performance, or 12th rehearsal, depending on your viewpoint. Standing ovation at the end ... full house.

Extra rehearsals tomorrow (overtime) at 5pm.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Meet the cast

After Friday's rehearsal, everybody gathered around Bruce's sofa for a group photo. From left to right:
TOP ROW: Director John Gould Rubin, Victor Williams (Carl), Jenna Stern (Susan), Alexander Chaplin (Andy), and Playwright David Bar Katz.
2ND ROW: Jamie Klassel (Cindy), Michael Puzzo (Doug), Elizabeth Canavan (Allison), Amelia Campbell (Karen), and David Deblinger (Bruce).
Photo by Monique Carboni.

Tickets are $10, and they're on sale now. Some dates are already sold out. Buy tickets now!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I seem to have misplaced the only copy of the script. I thought it was really cool how in the movie Misery the writer only had one copy. I like how it made it feel precious and rare. So, taking a page from the Oliver Stone secretive pre-production hand-book, all scripts that went out were numbered and read with an intern present then returned. Rubin, my director, never even got one in the first place. He thought reading my script would get in the way of his process. He suggested that maybe my manager or agents would have a copy. But my film agents said they deleted the email I sent them with it as soon as they saw the word 'play' in the email heading, and my theater agent never got one since he can't afford email.
Getting a little bit of resistance about my Star Trek dream sequence. All the men think they look fat in the Star Fleet uniforms, which I think is a testament to the fitness of the real original Enterprise crew. Deblinger is concerned that his nipples look puffy through the lycra. I told him that Shatner's nipples occasionally looked puffy during the third season, but that did not seem to comfort him. I'll throw the whole fucking thing out before I let my dream Capt. Kirk prance around in a Banana Republic turtle neck. The bridge of the Enterprise set looks like crap. I would rather re-write the bit so it would make sense for it to be performed in complete darkness than have this cardboard looking crap. Rubin, my director, doesn't seem to give a shit that the whole cast is mispronouncing every other Klingon word. He thinks no one will notice, but the Klingon word for 'urethra' is remarkably similar to the Klingon word for 'passive beta male'. Does he have any idea the kind of shit storm that will come raining down on us if the actors fuck that up??!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Writer's Perspective: Casting

October 30, 2008: It's week 247 of casting. Rubin and I can't agree on anything. I think it comes down to the fact that I'm looking for the best possible actors for the roles, and I think John's looking for a new best friend. John is a very sensitive man, very sensitive to actors, probably because he once was one a long time ago. You can still find some reviews of his early work on the walls of some caves in Lascaux. So John really engages every actor that comes into the room. It's truly lovely, the inclination behind it. Well, it's lovely if he's just being kind. If he's actually become disoriented and thinks that he's in the process of directing each auditioner's one-person show... well, that's troubling. During one woman's audition he actually opened up a bottle of a 1987 Borolo. If LAB could afford candles, I'm sure he would have lit them. I began singing that America song, This is for all the lonely people Thinking that life has passed them by Dont give up until you drink from the silver cup And ride that highway in the sky.... He shot me a look that even by Herzog/Klaus Kinski standards could not be considered collaborative. But I don't care 'cause Judy, our casting director says she's going to put me up for a juke box musical.

October 31, 2008:The array of actors we have seen is stunning. Every one of them is truly amazing. The professionalism!! for grown adults to be willing to come into a room, one after another and humiliate themselves in this way is stunning. The sides I have provided the actors for the auditions actually contain nothing that's actually in the script. Going that route would be a missed opportunity. I thought to myself, "What are some of the things you've always wanted to see grown men and women do or say? If you had the power to control people, to make them do anything, what would you have them do?" Needless to say, the casting process has been a scream, if not productive. A shout out to Judy, our casting director, for playing along and sacrificing her professionalism in the name of having a really good time.

One of LAByrinth's artistic director's suggested I work on having some more empathy towards actors. I thought this was a good idea, despite the fact that he's an actor so this is clearly a transparent effort to just have me understand him more. But I dug in anyway. I imagined it was I walking into that audition room. I could hear Judy's voice saying to me, "Cindy, this is David Bar Katz, the writer." I caught my reflection. I was a pretty blonde actress!! Repressing my desire to run to the bathroom, undress and for the first time spend some quality time alone with a naked blonde, I extended my hand to meet... ME! There I was, my hand extended towards my new actress hand. I looked up into my own eyes, and my actress mouth opened and I started screaming. And crying. Weeping really. Fetal position. The whole nine. So this is what it was like to meet me. Though I was hysterical, sobbing, pounding the floor, writhing, there was still enough actor in me to think, "I wish this was a Medea audition." But I couldn't calm down and just kept saying over and over, "Won't some big Indian pretending to be mute come over here, suffocate me with a pillow and smash his way out of here with the new sink we got with Celebrity Charades benefit money...?!"

November 1, 2008: If I'm as old as the people Judy has cast as my contemporaries, I'm gonna kill myself. I kept thinking that all these people must be fifteen years older than me. She insisted that they are not. I couldn't take it anymore, so I interrupted Rubin, even though he hadn't quite finished that auditioner's foot massage. "Could I see some ID, please?" I asked. Rubin handed me some document stamped with the seal of Vichy, France. "Not you! The actor." The actor handed me his driver's license. He was four years younger than me! So I am going to kill myself. But my death will still serve the production, since I know Rubin prefers to work with dead playwrights.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The writer's perspective

October 24th, 2008: I’ve given it some serious thought, and I think I’m going to change the title of the play to Kurt Vonnegut in Khartoum. It’s definitely less Jewish, so I lose that theme, but a lot of people probably already think Vonnegut is Jewish, despite his inspirational essay, Thank God I’m not Jewish.
And if Philip Roth doesn’t come to see the play, it will feel like a slight and depress me, whereas Vonnegut at least has a reason for not coming. Maybe James Salter in Khartoum? He could sign my copy of Light Years, and I’ll bet he’d have a drink with me, whereas I feel like Phil would probably want to head right back to Connecticut after the show. What if Philip Roth hated it? I don’t think Alanis Morisette ever recovered from Joni Mitchell saying she sucked. A good cautionary tale, though a wildly inappropriate comparison. Maybe Mr. Roth will invite me back to Connecticut with him. Maybe he’ll say, “I’ve always wanted to co-author something, David. Would you like to write a novel together?” I wonder if we’ll go out for breakfast or maybe just have something light on the patio when we get up? Spend the morning kicking around ideas, share regrets, anecdotes about Cheever and Yiddish speaking grandmothers.

October 25th, 2008 – 10:30 AM: My director, Rubin, doesn’t want me to have all the guys get naked in Scene 7. But I don’t think his objections are dramaturgical. I think he has issues with male nudity. He’s agreed to meet with me naked to discuss. I think a steam in the LAByrinth Theater conference room should allay his fears. I believe he went to boarding school, so his providential attitudes are a bit surprising.

October 25th, 2008 – 3:20 PM: Rubin brought his agent to our naked meeting, which I consider a bit of a betrayal. It was supposed to be something between two artists, two collaborators, and instead it became a rather formal business transaction.
After a rather drawn out negotiation, Rubin has agreed to stage the naked scene. He has learned that nude conversation and gratuitous sexuality, though related, are not the same thing, as has his agent. Not to mention the new office intern who accidentally entered the room looking for highlighters.