Friday, July 21, 2006

Fringe Blogging

So Greenman and I set out for Des Moines yesterday afternoon, planning to meet the rest of the Dreamwell gang when we got there. First interesting oddity: Seeing a guy riding a motorcycle, with cow horns attached to his helmet.

Ooookay. So we get into town and find out that the guy's hotel is about a block and a half from mine and Dawn's, and that we're all about eight blocks from the venue. We lug our stuff over and meet the very nice folks who are sharing our space for the duration. It's at 1300 Walnut, basically it's a commercial building, but the entire bottom floor appears to be basically unfinished: concrete floors, etc. They've taken one room and swept it out and built a wooden raised stage, then hung black curtains behind it to give us a rough "backstage" area. We have to enter and exit through the audience to get to it, and it's a little small, but otherwise it's fully functional. There are some rudimentary lights (no effects, just on and off. But, hey, it's better than having someone in the back flicking a light switch. . . ). There's also some sort of a sound system, that appears to be lacking any visible means of volume control. All in all, very fringey.

Then we head over to Court Avenue Brewing for some dinner before the show. I highly enjoyed the potstickers. Walking back to the hotels, we saw a random pudgy tatooed guy in a black thong swimming in the fountain:

Yep, this is going to be an interesting weekend.

So we get to back to the venue at 8:00 and start setting the stage and running lines. I decide to work the last two scenes of Subjugation outside. Of course, that entailed smoking a cigarette, while reciting lines such as "They think I'm an angry little girl inside. And dissociative. . . . I just started screwing Shrink Doolittle. Next comes his mind." I also like to pace while running lines. I'm fairly sure I scared a few pedestrians.

We had a really decent audience for a Thursday, about a quarter to half full. We did have one glitch when a scene skipped about and had to be brought back around. But it got back on track, and it was all good. Being original pieces, the audience never knew. I think the guys are reviewing that one a couple of times today - it's so odd how the scenes that never gave you trouble in rehearsal can sometimes bite you in the ass on stage. The joys of live theater.

All in all, however, we got really good feedback. The show is viceral, thought-provoking, and they really enjoyed it. And, most excitingly, they got it. And not just the openly disturbing stuff, or the political humor, but even the obsure Salinger references and the symbolic nudity.

After the performance, we hit the Royal Mile for a few beers. There, we saw a crazy guy hanging outside the courtyard. I didn't get a picture, because I didn't want to antagonize him. Fortunately, the police caught wind of it and it didn't turn into a bad situation.

This morning is cold and wet, dammit, and I've spent way too long on the computer. More later. Come and see the show!

MA for Mature Audiences
by Gregory Aldrich, Matthew Brewbaker, and Dawn Wittke-King
directed by Matthew Brewbaker and Dawn Wittke-King
July 20, 9:00 pm; July 21, 6:30 pm; July 22, 3:30 and 8:00 pm; July 23, 3:30 pm
“Subjugation” features three interwoven monologues addressing redemption, power, and revenge. Adult language and situations. “The Gifted” is a piece about growing up featuring gamesmanship, random references from Alice Miller's "Drama of The Gifted Child" and male nudity. “The Ladybugs” is a fast paced political satire full of adult language. 3 performers. 1 hr 30 min
13th & Walnut (commercial building on SW corner; west side) Des Moines

UPDATE: It's noon, and Greenman's already drinking. I'm such a slacker, must get on the road. But I just discovered we got a small blurb in Juice as one of the shows to see:
For true edgy fringe, Dreamwell Theatre's MA for Mature Audiences brings their trio of short plays . . .

Yay! Seriously, guys, it's worth it.

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