Quote of the Day: No play, not even a classic text that has been performed for centuries, is a static work of art…Theatre is an ephemeral art, and it can only be conjured in a moment of witness….we have created a place to focus on new work, a signature space of risk and discovery…By joining us tonight, you are a companion in the development of the next generation of stories. Benjamin McGovern, Associate Director of Studio Programming and director of The Edge of Our Bodies, writing about the Dowling Studio at The Guthrie theatre in Minneapolis, where I watched The Edge of Our Bodies last night.
The correct answer is “Yes!” That’s what I learned from The National Players on Monday during our improv workshop. Whatever your scene partner throws at you, the answer is, “Yes!” Then, you go for it. To be succussful in your art, the correct answer to opportunities and requests is always, “Yes!”
I “Like” The Guthrie on facebook, because I like the The Guthrie, and I’m embarassed to say that I hadn’t been there in so long, I didn’t even know where they built the new theatre – five years ago! (Among other excuses, I thought I lived too far away.) One day last August, they posted via facebook that they were “Calling all Bloggers” to come watch shows at The Guthrie then write a review on their blogs. Without hesitation, I said, “Yes!” clicked on over and signed up. Low and behold, they invited me and a guest to attend first, The Burial at Thebes, which I had to turn down, then The Edge of Our Bodies, which I was determined to go see. If I lived in the cities, I would have gone to it, easily, even without the invitation. So, I started asking around for a travel/theatre companion. Dawn, singer-songwriter-theatre major-writer-friend, said, “Yes!”
Cheers, Dawn, to a daring, new adventure!
A quick dinner at The Level 5 Cafe’
Cheeseburger, fish cakes, fresh bread, and wine.
The Edge of Our Bodies by Adam Rapp is a one character play, with a brief appearance of a maintenance man. Bernadette sits on the set of The Maids as we enter and take our seats. When the play starts, she holds her journal and reads to us her journey. I didn’t realize that the set was for the play within a play until a little ways into the show. Bernadette tells us that she needs to talk to her boyfriend. We learn of her feelings of isolation and abandonment, and her fears and frustrations. Her parents are so wrapped up in their own coping lifestyle, that they leave her to stumble around, a teen thrust into an adult world. Ali Rose Dachis plays the part superbly. She comes to life when she describes conversations she has along her journey, her boyfriend’s dying father, her mixed-up mother, a bartender, and a lonely man. She also acts out bits of The Maids, a show she auditioned for in her prep school. At one point the Maintenance Man says, “Tomorrow, this will all be gone.” It was fascinating to watch a single actor bring the story to life in an hour and 20 minutes, non-stop. I feel like I need to watch it again to catch more of the details. Did she take her journal with her as she exits the final scene?
The use of lighting kept us focused. They threw us a few surprises, and told the story in raw, graphic language. I would not bring my young sons to this show. It has adult themes about someone who isn’t quite ready to be an adult. It brings to light the darkness of life, the difficult choices, and the way people get trapped inside their own lives. The Edge of Our Bodies are those moments when we step outside ourselves and take a hard look. Who is that person, and how could she (he) be me?
If you look closely, you can see the edge of my body in this photo.
The lighting in the lobby was tricky.
Beautiful, but hard to photograph.
Next time I go to The Guthrie, I’ll plan to get there earlier so I can look around. It is an amazing place. Huge. They have three stages and shows going on at the same time. The Dowling Studio is on the 9th floor. The windows along the wall offer a fabulous view of the Mississippi River, the city lights, and – watch your step! – a window in the floor where you can look all the way down to the bottom floor. I didn’t dare stand on it.
Dawn and I were funny “farm” girls. We were exploring and discovering the theatre with wide-eyed wonder. We laughed as we went the wrong direction, rode the longest escalator, and found our way in and out of the theatre, and in and out of the city, which was somehow easier to get in to that out of. I-94 in, 394 to north 494 out! We live over two hours away from The Guthrie, Blogger Night invitations are for week nights, I have four busy boys at home, and I don’t drive in the city. And, yet, I said, “Yes!” to the invitation to be a guest at The Guthrie and write this review for you today…And, it was worth it.
Look how happy I am to be saying, “Yes!”
All I need is a hat to throw into the air, and I could do my Mary Tyler Moore impression.
Go. Create. Inspire!
And, say “Yes!” to the next artistic opportunity.
I think I’ll check out Adam Rapp’s movie, Winter Passing, this weekend, a 2005 drama starring Zoey Deschanel, Will Ferrell, and Ed Harris.
Journaling Prompt: When is the last time you said, “Yes!” to an opportunity? Any regrets from a no?