Wine, Women & Other Delights

7 Jul

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Thursday night, over a spread of summer berries, breads, salad, cheese, wine, chocolate, coffee and Perrier, seven women sat down to feast on a script, and one another’s company.

…Literally at-table, with scripts in-hand, tween fork fulls, we ate and drank and laughed. Restroom breaks at intervals or when reader not in-play, wine corkings and pour-outs at natural segues in topic…we were exhausted with food and our efforts, as coffee was poured out casually during the final scene.  In the end, a tour-de-force and three-course meal was had, and we were each so supremely impressed with the success of it all, that a production of the piece by right of blood-determination and pinky swears, was insisted.

This script must be shared, but the formula was a delicate beast.

…We agreed (all) that the delectable intimacy we had shared over the evening was the same way it should be presented for the audience .  Very limited seating…sometime late summer…wherin everyone partake in food and wine in casual corners, as the audience plays at voyeurism, outside of normal theatrical patronism.  No stage to separate the one from the other, no blocking to suggest “presentation.”  Just a collection of women, living their lives in History, in their houses, in their offices, in their time…which some will secretly have view-access to.

The script: “Top Girls.” Caryl Churchill’s 1982 tribute to feminist power struggles, and their rise and fall of ideals across History and into the future.

The cast: Seven savvy dames who’ve lived the lives of many of the characters…which, if you knew us, would be all but painfully obvious.

The process:  We change nothing from that evening’s presentation of share, sauce, laugh, pick, pour, wink, wine, taste, wit, crunch, smack, tease and play.  Only this time, people will be standing and sitting around the space like patrons at an art gallery, free to view the work from any angle they please.

The rules: Delight in the extraordinary work of truth. Celebrate what it is to be a woman in these (and in any) times, rough though it may often be. Enjoy an unusual evening of theatre that will make you howl, hiss, laugh, sob and say to yourself end-of-the-night: “we really are remarkable creatures, ain’t we?”

Simple.  True.  Real.  Just like the piece.

…I had never read or done any Churchill previous to this, though had heard much talk of her “Cloud Nine” (a sex-politics play of the first degree.)  Mdm. Director of the evening’s festivities, brilliantly likened Churchill’s style of work to that of a female Mamet…in content, topic, politics and most especially beat-work.  Her dialogues follow the true form of conversation, outside of polite society, “we all wait our turn to have our say” dogma.  No one “waits” here.  No one “minds their tongue,” or “keeps it close”…no one holds back their thoughts for a moment’s pause.  Sentences wrap, envelope, cut-off, cut-out, usurp, entangle and define one another continually.  Yet the joke (and truth) lies in the fact that with a room full of women, this is merely the kind of multi-tasking we relish in: we are able to do it all while also listening and responding to one another, throughout.  As opposed to Mamet’s work’s denying completion of thought, information and (often) actual conversation.  The beats are insanity and completely superb when achieved correctly.  The comedy is crisp, tart, acidic and jolly by turn.  The drama is jaw-dropping, in its insistence of righteous self-expression, earnest regret, and truthful grudging.

It’s frustrating.

It’s enlightening.

It’s humiliating.

It’s enticing.

It’s truthful.

It’s a mind-trip.

…After two months away from scripts and stages, lines, and study…the whole evening and it’s process was like that first taste of water following a drought.  You walk around knowing you’re thirsty all the time, but the minute your lips finally touch a water glass, it’s like the most wondrous element of delicious existence you can even fathom.

It’s been a long time.

…And I thought: if you wanna swig of refreshment, you should keep your eyes peeled for our “Save-the-Date.”  I guarantee, it’ll be wondrous.

~D

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2 Responses to “Wine, Women & Other Delights”

  1. gayr0b0t July 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    Your enthusiasm and passion for the capital-A Art in the Theatrical Arts we love so much just makes me want to drop everything and come out to SM this for you…if, indeed, it NEEDS an SM…

    • classicmoviewatcher July 8, 2012 at 3:58 am #

      …I think for this one, the job title would fall more along the lines of “Wine Steward”…how heavy-handed is your pour-out? 😉

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