The Whole Durang, or It Gets Funny and Then It Doesn’t.
In the early days of Bare Theatre, we would just do shows out of the blue. Carmen would start asking people, “Hey, you want to do MACBETH?” and people would just say yes and it would happen. It would be crazy and hard work and a total blast and we would do it.
We’re sort of making a return to that now. With the close of ONE NIGHT OF ABSOLUTE DISMAY, our seventh season had been a short one since we were not able to do Rogue Company last summer. The next show on the docket was LET THEM BE HEARD (which I promise to write about soon because people are already emailing me about it) – which isn’t until June. We were going to have some time off.
I use the term “time off” loosely. It’s only time off for the actors and crew. Heather and I have been hard at work laying out our vision for the company and for the next five years, and working on our 501(c)(3) application so that we can begin a real development campaign (that is tax-deductible!). I’ve also been working on cutting LET THEM BE HEARD to a manageable length (and it is close!).
However, it just seemed like we had a really rollicking season, even if it was short, and we wanted to keep the party going. Not only that, but since DISMAY was a Durham-only show, and LET THEM BE HEARD and the TBA Rogue Company show will only be in Durham, this meant that we would not be back in Raleigh (where most of us live) until the Fall.
We decided to damn the torpedoes and do a show in Raleigh.
It wasn’t hard to talk Olivia into directing – in fact she was talking us into it! She was thinking about GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS. I suggested Christopher Durang’s humbly-titled DURANG/DURANG because, well, we already know “For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls” (which is like a quarter of the evening) and, well…it’s hilarious.
Now I’m really stoked. I know that the next few months are going to be insane. I know my house is going to get a bit neglected during this period. I know there’s way to much to do…but we’re doing “Wanda’s Visit!”
So please, go ahead and put May 10 – 20 on your calendars. Make your phones beep at you before the shows start. I’m being really serious about this, because if you come you are in for one heck of a good time. The dysfunction in these six plays is just bombastic.
We are going to need to laugh before June. The stories from the real former slaves behind LET THEM BE HEARD are just heartbreaking. The very first one I ever read had me in tears. The pain they were subjected to is something that no one in America today really knows. That said, it’s not all sadness. Some of the tales told by Tempie Herndon – who was 101 years old when she was interviewed – are just beautiful.
I believe it will be a powerful experience and one that you will not forget. Please put June 9 on your calendar, because we will only be presenting four performances of LET THEM BE HEARD that day – inside a slave cabin and barn on Historic Stagville’s plantation site – and there will only be limited availability.
INFO FOR LET THEM BE HEARD AUDITIONS WILL BE POSTED IN APRIL.
There will be much more to come as we develop these projects. Thank you for those who commented on our last post – we value that feedback and we are considering those suggestions!