Exeunt Omnes. The show is concluded, and in many ways I was too tired until now, both mentally and physically, to describe the final night.
It did in fact go even better than Friday night went. The miracle continued, as it were. Never has so much happened in a show in so little time. Not only in regards to the quality of the show itself, but in regards to the personalities and activities of the group backstage, and socially. Just one week ago, nobody had costumes, few had props, and some people didn't even have their lines. But in addition to that, there had not been a whole lot of socializing amongst those people in the cast that didn't know each other already. Myself in particular.
But beginning with about a week ago various people started to show up early, and one specific day we all related our zany adventures of the day to one another, some pertaining to the play, and some not. The result was an almost instantaneous increase in out comfort level with one another. I have to believe that this is what led to the rehearsals that were exponentially better each day of last week, leading into the weekend performances.
As a result, I believe, (though I admit it is still too early to be sure), that this cast will stay in contact with one another more so than my average cast does. Not everybody, of course, it is almost never everybody, even in the best of circumstances. Yet near the end of this production, I started to feel a sense of unified commitment, both to the show and to each other in this cast that I don't feel in every show. In fact, I find I am blessed with that only every few years. Perhaps not to the greatest extent in my career, but certainly more so than have been my casts over the last several shows. I could speculate as to why, but there is no point in that. The point is, it seems to have happened, and hopefully new, lasting friends were made. Time will certainly tell. (As will Facebook...)
As for the show itself, i will remind everyone that due to the nature of the show and the theatre venue, I never really got to see the whole thing from start to finish, and so cannot really speak as to the entire experience on Saturday. But judging by the hearty reactions of the once again decent sized crowd, I can conclude we hit a bull's eye. (The standing ovation seemed to seal this deal as well.)
Plus, the final light cue was properly executed...thank the Divine!
I was particularly proud of "Romeo" in our scenes together. He gained nuance and subtle touches in his performances, at least in my scenes, each night of the final week, and Saturday was no exception. He came such a long way in our scenes, and it was such a pleasure to perform those scenes with him by the end. I have been in many shows before many audiences. I know when the people are into a scene. They were into our scenes, particularly out first several, when the mood was light.
I had to turn around and close the curtain during my first scene before Romeo came out, as it had not been closed correctly when I came out. No big deal, as I always made as though I was looking behind me before speaking. I just acting like I was shutting the door. (Before singing "Highway to Hell" while listening to an IPOD...the great opening gag for me that I wanted to wait until the show was over to reveal here.)
I slipped on a few lines. Again, not forgetting them, but inverting a few words here and there, running a phrase or two together with another. Nothing major, although last night I was more nervous about delivering my long, boring "sleeping potion" speech than I had been for a while. I am not sure why...it ended up just fine. I guess sometimes certain things just never smooth out totally in one's mind. But that is one thing about this play I will not miss...that terrible speech.
Strike was very easy. We did not even have to tear down the walls and entrances we had constructed from scratch, because the president of the theatre like them so much. He thinks they make a good generic skeletal structure for future shows, so they will remain. One of the fastest, easiest strikes I ever took part in.
Then the cast party. Fun, though not everybody could stay. We did something I had never done before. We all gathered around, and each of us chose a person to compliment, and then compliment the director. What exactly was said by whom I will keep private between those of us in the show, but suffice to say, I gave credit where credit was due, and was moved with the amount of appreciation I was shown. In some ways I affected the outcome of the play without knowing I had done so. I am glad my hard work paid off in more than one way.
And so, one of the biggest whirlwinds of a production I have ever been in comes to a regretful but shockingly strong end. I hope to work with many of them again. Some want to come back as a cast next summer to be in a different Shakespeare play. I know the director expressed interest in directing again. If she does so, I will show up if I am free, now that I know what these people are capable of. Though hopefully we won't cut it quite so close next year.
Though even if we do, we've proven that doesn't stop us...