Now that the 2006 NYC Fringe Festival is just a sweaty Henry Street Settlement memory, Handan and I are trying to cope with the emptiness of being without theater by staying home and watching old reruns of Seventh Heaven.
Opening night was a staggering success considering the actors and tech crew had all of about two hours of rehearsal time at the space, and the domineering venue director was making actors nervous by using her two weeks of unpaid power to spit out rules and regulations as she simultaneously stuffed a mayonnaise drenched tuna sandwich into her pasty face. Miguel(Carlos) and I had made some vague plans to get her back at some point during the festival, but outside of putting a couple drops of Visine in her Vitamin Water (which I never did) I couldn't come up with anything creative, so this mere mention turns out to be the only juvenile revenge I can extract. As you can see I was quite focused on studiously deconstructing the play Handan and I had written. I really was.
Prior to each show I was responsible for sectioning off the stage with long strips of yellow caution tape to complete Handan's "Do Not Cross" vision. The first performance the tape had ripped away from the floor, where there had been quite a lot of Christmas tree related activities.
"I wanted it to look like soccer field," she said with a sad shake of her head, clearly disappointed with my lackadaisical effort.
Opening night also brought out the sickly reviewer with a rumpled baseball hat who sat next to me on the top row of the bleachers as I was making small talk with my friend Safi about the Turkish army (don't ask).
"This is a horrible space," the man said, "the last time I was here, I saw the worst play I ever saw in my life." I suddenly pictured the length and tone of his future review, and could see the web page being added to the top of the favorites list on all of the people who I had ever mistreated in my life.
"That was not Chai," Handan said.
"But it is golden, sparkling Chai," I said, proudly displaying a plastic cup of apple juice in the air.
"No Chai is dark. Chai is definitely darker,"
I once again walked away dejected, having shirked by responsibilities as Production Assistant.
For the last three performances I was up in the booth doing the sound. Stage manager Jenn helped to offset my delayed reactions by giving the sound cues a couple beats earlier then they actually needed to be heard.
This is a typical profound comment I would make as Jenn and I were watching the audience members roll in before the play.
"I think he is Turkish."
The actors were wonderful, but aren't actors always wonderful, and I'm not being facetious, you might think that I am, but it was great to watch these actors bring so much to our little house party. Handan and I are excited with the development of House and can hardly wait to see the next installment on its legs. Having done House-- a Christmas story in August, we’ve now decided to put on these plays during the opposite seasons (it’s our gimmick), look for Yard in December; a pair of pregnant woman, Carmen and Grace navigate a sticky Fourth of July picnic as their husbands, John and Carlos protect the party from a suburban boar(boar as in pig).