A voice from the “Maidens, Mothers and Crones” cast!

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Emily Sutton-Smith is one of the actors in our upcoming show. She’s also the Development Director for Williamston Theatre, so she heads up the department that works to find us funding sources! Here are her thoughts after 10 days of rehearsal!

I’ve been writing all about Maidens, Mothers and Crones for over a year now. Being the Development Director for the Theatre means that I write all the grant applications and corporate sponsorship proposals for our productions. We were lucky enough to get an MCACA Arts Project grant for this production, and our score was really high, so I must have written some great stuff about it (in April 2007!). The concept of this kind of production is fascinating to me… it’s similar to how A Chorus Line was developed in the early 1970s. So I was thrilled when Tony asked me to be a part of the ensemble.

But I have to admit, I was nervous on the first day of rehearsal. We had the draft of a script to work from, but everything came with the proviso, “this will all change.” The various parts and bits were wonderful, but I didn’t see them fitting together well. I didn’t understand the flow of the thing. Would the songs stick out as random musical moments? How could we possibly pull this off in three short weeks of rehearsal? These questions are a good indicator of why I am not a director.

We plunged ahead into rehearsal and just started at the top of the show, which is a dance. A weird dance. But we went for it and over the course of several rehearsals it’s become this really interesting and funny opening. Through the first week, we received re-written pages every day. Lines were cut. Scenes were cut. Songs were added. Poems were added. Scenes were added. The script was frozen just a few days ago – for now. I have no doubt that changes will start coming once we begin running the acts in their completed stage. We have SO MUCH to memorize. I use my walks with my dog every morning to review what I’m desperately trying to commit to memory. Sometimes, my fellow cast mates and I look at each other panic stricken in the midst of a scene when we have no idea what comes next. We can still call for line, but we all want to get past that so that we can really live in these strange and wonderful moments that we are creating.

Yesterday was a long day. We had an eight-hour rehearsal that began with about two hours of intense physical work on the top of act two. So by the time 9pm rolled around, we were all a little punchy. We started in on the final scene in the play, and there are a few moments of just playful, silly humor. I lost it. I was literally on the floor laughing. I couldn’t control myself. I snorted. I was feeling horribly unprofessional until I heard everyone else losing it too, including our director Suzi who was doubled over in row C. I love moments like that. I love working with this team of talented and unique women. And I’m SO excited to be on our stage again… the last time was for Additional Particulars when we still had folding chairs. We have come a long, long way. We’re making our own play AND we have real theatre seats.

Come see us play!!!

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