Chaos Attraction

A Full Day Of Theater

2020-10-10, 7:52 p.m.

Kelly's long play, reading of draft 3: We have an even bigger group this time, with a few audience members and one future cast member who's going to be in act 2 (I suggested she play a minor character in act 1next time). It went well, I think we're all really enjoying it. Some folks are pretty good on history research--Apryl in particular is on the realism of Sarah and Michelle's interracial lesbian relationship circa 1970 and what would have been plausible in their behavior. Overall, I think their relationship has a lot of interest/tension/conflict now that hiding is a plot issue, and Michelle has married a gay friend to keep up appearances. Alice is an enthusiastic protestor and it's really entertaining, I'm just enjoying the whole thing and I look forward to Act 2 when Kelly gets to it. I enjoyed one audience member in particular cracking up.

Charlotte's Web: I came in late (rehearsal started at 11, but I was occupied) and read act 2, and then they had a half hour left in which they put us into various groups and then were told to retell the story in two minutes, and then act something out within it. In our case, it was the adult Arable/Zuckermans being told to act out the pig chase. We elected to tell it from the adults' POV (i.e. they don't know what's going on with the spider). I suggested having stuffed animals "run" around, and Tom was all "I have a warthog and all of us have Charlotte's Web books with a pig on them," so we had him start out with the pig going back and forth across the screen and then the rest of us ran the books back and forth across the screen. This did pretty well, though Karen did have to rope her husband into not rambling on and keeping to the time. I made sure we ended with pointing out that the spider is the real hero here (per Edith, the only character in the book who notices that!). The other kids's groups were a little sketchier, I'm not sure what most of them were supposed to be acting out, except for the "little spiders" group wiggling their fingers at the camera. Anyway, it was fun.

After that, I decided to watch Acme Theater. Robert was reading for most of the day, Shanna was doing only 12-3. I had planned to watch Shanna and then watch Robert later, but HOO BOY WERE THEY HAVING TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES. I could only get sound for Robert's room and only get visuals for Shanns's room. Well, I guess that way I got both.... They had a message on the website from four hours ago saying they were having sound problems....sigh. So I heard Robert reading Winter's Tale, at least. Poor Shanna, sound wasn't going AT ALL for her room and it was eventually killed and replaced with the Swashbuckling room. Actually, the Shakespeare room was the only one working after awhile, sigh. So I finished watching Robert and company reading Winter's Tale and then starting in on Richard III. I think his friend Jessica was in there (never met her, just heard of her) and a local politician and Ania, who I think took knitting classes from a few years back. I did hear her say, "If you didn't know there was a murder in Richard III, have I got a surprise for you!"

(Off topic note: can someone explain to me why Joe Biden keeps emailing me and calling me "Patricia?" I just wanna make a joke about Biden being Biden, but given current circumstances I don't think I should and it's probably someone else's tech failure anyway.)

At 4, I watched the "Virtual Innovation Spectacular" that sounded like they were showing off inventions or something? I don't know why it reminded me of some presentation they'd do at Disney. "Our days of humblebragging are done," and I just wanted to go LOL THIS JOINT NEVER HUMBLEBRAGGED IN ITS LIFE. Then they started going into agriculture and bragging students and I got bored and went back to watching Robert and company doing Shakespeare. Innovation, my arse. I get so sick of "The alma mater is SO GREAT" after awhile. Yes, some things they do are great or good, but I can't stomach a self-promotional gloating video. It's not that it's a bad school, and it does good things, I'm just...sick of most of it all.

I checked back at Acme at 4ish and saw that Bridget was now doing Treasure Island...with no sound going on. And then Robert's room went out... SIGH. They are using Twitch this time, I wonder if that's the issue/ Not that Twitch has seemed super buggy any of the other times I've watched it recently, but hooooooo boy is today a mess. I'm probably the only one even trying to watch any more. (And either the donation page is also broken or the fundraising really isn't going well.....)

Mom called to say there weren't that many people at her event and everyone had masks on. Well, that's good, at least. Did write an email to Robert and he said to let him know when Robin Hood is on and he would have watched mine, but he'd been doing it since 9 a.m. and needed a screen break. I ordered groceries tonight since it has been a month and a half. I didn't get as much as usual, though I did stock up on items for Thanksgiving since I will have to spend it alone--frozen turkey, cranberry sauce, corn, butternut squash, sparkling cider, frozen pies. I decided to give them a 2 hour window of 12-2 tomorrow for $5 cheaper, just to see how that goes since I am going to be home all day doing not much anyway. Also it seems to be about 2 hours as is for delivery, so...whatever.

And finally, I started my Acme Theater shift! I was in with Kate from last time (Josh from last time was in the "King John" room, I watched him after we were done), so that was fun for us. Afterwards she said at the next one, "If you're not there, I will feel a void" and wants to see my next shows. Awwww.

Things I learned from the staff:

(a) After last time, Betsy who runs the computers moved to using a college computer lab, then discovered a sound problem, then the computer lab wouldn't let her download anything to fix it... so it was out for most of the day. When I went into the breakout room about 20 minutes early, Betsy had quite the tale of woe about it. I did let her know that the sound wasn't working and as far as I could test during breaks, was working during mine! Hopefully! I highly doubt anyone else was watching by then but we had a great time. (Though Shanna later said she tried at 7:30 and the room wasn't working. Darn it.)

(b) After the 24 hour marathon, the staff was finding a 12 hour marathon to be a picnic, other than the sound issue. I asked if they were totally done with 24 hours and were just going to do 12 and they said they might do 24 hours again just for Big Day of Giving. I said hey, if you wanna do a marathon around Thanksgiving or December, I will be bored with nothing to do, and they sounded amenable to that.

(c) Apparently there are a lot of fans of "King John." The girl going into that room was all, "King John is my BOY I love him." I did not know this was A Thing. Later on, Betsy said, "We just got through the most hilarious eye-gouging scene of all time in King John" and "We can just keep going on with bloody murder...."

(d) Robert and company got through about Act 4 of Richard III before hitting their timeout, and they decided to just move on to King John from there rather than have the new group finish it off. "Richard, what a delightful creep you are...." Betsy.

(e) Becky--a lady I mention in here every once in a while who tends to be super flaky (I'm not sure what's going on with her personal life, but about 80% of the time she doesn't end up going to things)--had signed up for a shift, but of course didn't show up and never was heard from, sigh. I pretty much expect it. Happily, one of the staff members running it, Emily, joined our group and was MARVELOUS.

(f) I think given the lack of people who signed up for this one--it wasn't as many as last time--they didn't have the Women's History room running the entire time on the schedule anyway. The idea was that they had about 4 plays per room (assuming each play runs 3 hours) but they hadn't gotten to all of them today. We were scheduled to read "Sovereignity," which they were all, "here's a warning about this one...." it's kind of a downer....I looked at the cast list and was all, "Why is a women's history play have almost all men and only 2 women in it?" And Andrew Jackson was a character, for god's sake. And also, they said "The Revolutionists" was available, and frankly, that play is the reason why I signed up for "Women's History" instead of "Swashbuckling Adventure Room." So I said yes, I'd rather do that one, and so we did. The others were Laura and Emily, who was especially amazing as Marie despite not being able to have camera on and look at the script at the same time. I bet she had hilarious facial expressions or something.

AND IT WAS MARVELOUS. I LOVE THIS PLAY SO MUCH. LAUREN GUNDERSON IS SO GOOD AT PLAYWRITING. You know if she writes something (okay, I've seen two shows of hers so far, but still) it's going to be good and this was amazing. It's about the French Revolution, featuring four women who I'm guessing never met IRL but make friends in this play:

Olympe de Gouges (who I played), the one female playwright in France during the revolution, very much Most Writers Are Writers, very based off her real life from what Wikipedia says. Marianne Angelle, spy fighting against slavery (not based on one person, apparently) Charlotte Corday, famous for killing Jean-Paul Marat in his bath Queen Marie-Antoinette, 'nuff said there.

Here's what the author says about it. "The play is about a moment in history where the rich and poor were lightyear’s apart in lifestyle, the country was in multiple wars, the debt was huge, the workers overtaxed, trust in the government was nil, the leaders were corrupt and greedy, racism, sexism, poverty, violence, extremism… The only difference between them and us is the year and the continent."

It's very modernly written, with Olympe and her angst over writing and fears of getting killed (sigh) being very prominent. Marie is sad but also walking comedy, Charlotte is all happy to stabstab even if it means her death, and Marianne is the most reasonable of the bunch, also deeply in love with her husband, but...y'know, bad shit is going on here. You are feeling how some things in it relate to today. I think my acting in it was a tour de force, even if literally nobody else other than us in the show (probably) saw it. I want to do this show again. And you know what? ALL OF THE CHARACTERS would be fun to play. Like, I really liked doing Olympe who's angsty and scared but fierce in her own way, but could have had a blast as Marianne (though she's black, so under normal circumstances that wouldn't be allowed) or Charlotte or Marie (I think Marie would be second choice). The play ends on a down note because French Revolution, but also is kinda hopeful at the same time? It's just really good, y'all.

I think it's a shame that nobody saw it, mind you, or could see it, especially the end, but oh well, at least those in the room appreciated it.

I went in to go watch King John at the end (Josh was...manspreading, to be honest? Not quite low enough to be a concern but his positioning in sitting was cracking me up) and then the sound went off, so I went back into the Zoom room to let them know it went back out, and then it got fixed again. Huzzah! And then out I just hung out in the Zoom while watching, stayed on mute, and let them know when the sound was out.

The topic of shooting turkeys (!) with birth control came up, so I shared about squirrel birth control on campus and that caused some amusement. Also I heard, "Remember when we were obsessed with mustaches in 2013?" "I KNOWWWWW!"

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