Not only for the show, but a whole new theatre company!
There were some differences and inconveniences that take some getting used to, given the venue. There was no real private area to get ready or collect my thoughts. The doors were open, and some people in their seats when I got there. That is a first. But I just strapped on the old mp3 player, and paced alot around the churchyard for a half an hour or so. I got in the groove, and all was well.
Also, the back stage area, (which we had to create) is quite tiny. So there is not alot of room to move. You are either sitting, or on stage. And with no intermission, that's a lot of sitting.
Particularly for me. My two plays are the final two plays of the evening. Which means I have to wait just over an hour to get on. A little hard to do in a cramped setting.
But out of 35 seats, about 20 people came, and they loved us! Very responsive crowd. Laughed a lot. And in a space that small, a lot of laughter really fills the room quite nicely.
Also, our lighting instruments stayed on the whole time. This was initially a concern, as they had not always done so.
There were no major mistakes in The Philadelphia. Philip Glass did hit a tiny snafu. But so tiny I can promise you the audience did not catch it. I know this because even I wasn't sure what happened, and I am in the play. I may have made the mistake, or it may have been someone else. I do not know. The point is we kept the rhythm, and not a soul knew anything had happened.
So the much labored over Glass has officially been performed successfully.
I said this before...this is, in many ways, acting at its purest. The small venue, make shift set, improvised props, etc. It all requires an actor to be extra sharp with his actual craft. Not that having great sets and props in a huge theatre kills acting talent. But in a play and a place like this one, you can't afford even the slightest luxury of relying on the externals. You have to have it all inside you, because that is all there is.
I was determined, as soon as I crossed the river into West Virginia, (about 5 minutes before the venue), that I was going to concentrate only on being an actor. Money did not matter. The size of the crowd, the venue, previous problems with the show. Nothing could be done about that by the time I crossed the river this evening. I knew the only thing left to do, was become a cast of one, within myself, and muster the determination to be dedication wholeheartedly to the show, regardless. And that is what I did, and I think it paid off.
It must have been what everybody else did as well...for there was not a single weak spot in the whole show. All 7 plays went smashingly, as they say. I do not think that Full Circle Theater Company could have asked for a better opening. I am very proud to have been there, and look forward to the three remaining performances. (Word of mouth really should help for next week.)
If this is the level of quality this company insists on all the time, it will not be long before it is a highly recognizable theatrical group in the area...adding its name to the other established companies.
Here's to Full Circle.