where we are

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Hey there. My name’s Dennis North, one of the actors in the Williamston Theatre’s production of Additional Particulars, and Tony’s asked me to blog a few thoughts, so here goes…the production is now moving at that pace that actors love and are terrified by. We’re to the point where we’re truly starting to trust each other, our director (although I’ve done that from the beginning…please cast me again) and the material. It’s that point where you start losing the original work, and thoughts and perceptions and start giving yourself over to the new life that’s being created on stage as an an ensemble. You of course never know what the outcome will be, it’s like wrapping a gift for month and then finally allowing an audience to open it…hoping that they’ll love the present. You also realize you’re moving very quickly to that point where you need that last element to make it art, and that is the audience.

Speaking of audience, and what we’re really talking about is community…the community of Williamston has been nothing but loving, supportive, giving of their time and energy. You wouldn’t believe the amount of new faces you see every time you show up for rehearsal. And of course, the regulars who’ve committed to this from the get go. It’s such a great town and reminds me very much of the small town in Indiana that I came from. It also makes you feel very good and part of something much larger, to see this creative adventure begin in an area that has never had a theatre before.

Each rehearsal brings something new now…risers built and painted, the set being constructed, chairs in, lights hung, sound system set up and working…this for actors is a gift. It’s like a new home being built. Sorry if that sounds like “actor speak”, but for me at least, that’s true. Theatres are like a home. And with the support from this community, you can easily see how everyone involved will get to claim this as part of their creative home.

So, to finish off, from an acting standpoint here’s where we are. Still struggling with lines but not afraid they won’t be there. Still discovering the characters within ourselves and enjoying the ride they’re taking us on and finally, still working for the truth that we all can relate to.

I have absolutely no idea who’s reading all these blogs, but whoever you are, please join the Theatre in this first production and help keep art alive in Michigan…(that’s a whole other blog) Later, Dennis

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  1. Anonymous  June 2, 2006

    This is so nice, Dennis!

    It IS a home. Funny, as I was reading this a lot of moments from Act I were echoed for me. The concepts of home (for me in addition to the new theatrical home, I have my own new home just up the road and last night was the first night that it really felt like coming home) and belonging to something bigger than yourself. There is something really special about this play, the themes it covers and the story it tells. I can’t wait for audiences to see it!!!!

    Thanks for being on the ride with us, Dennis!


  2. Anonymous  June 2, 2006

    Ok Dennis, I’m going to chime in on this one, also. Your post hit home with me quite a bit (don’t take that the wrong way Tony … I’m still reading all of your postings!). Since it has literally been decades since I floated around a theatre (other than to go see a show), the atmosphere that has been created and generated at the WT has had that feeling of “home” – as in this is were you want to belong. It’s that comfortable feeling that you can walk in and know that you’re going to be with people whose company you enjoy, who are striving for similar goals, who tend to have a similar outlook on many aspects of life, and who are genuinely excited to be working with you no matter how much or how little you do.

    I never realized exactly how much I missed this atmosphere, until I was part of it again – irrelevant of what I happen to be doing at the theatre. The opportunity to simply listen to “theatre speak” again was so significant – it’s not something that I can do with other people in my life. Those “defining moments” of a project have been so pronounced through the whole process of watching the building, and now the show, come together over the past few months. Last Sunday was definitely one of them … sitting in a circle center stage with everyone having a drink and admiring how much had been accomplished that day left me thinking “how cool is this?!” 🙂 It’s small moments like that which are huge – and it’s that feeling of “home” that comes across so strong (of course so did the smell of fresh paint, cut
    wood, and leftover pizza…).

    Since my preference is the technical side of the theatre, I tend to see all of the technical little things that need to be ready when your first audience arrives … or more importantly, when the building inspector comes back to review the changes and grants an occupancy permit! But those things will be ready … you’ve got an incredibly wonderful staff at the WT who, although they are often overworked, under-appreciated, stressed out, and have eaten too much pizza lately, they are the ones that have established that feeling of home for all of us in some fashion. They are the ones who will make sure everything is set to go – and your production will be this terrific gift to the audience. They’ve been good enough to allow me to keep coming back … and it’s been a great ride for the last four months.


  3. admin  June 6, 2006

    A home…

    Dennis, Emily, Tim-

    I’m glad to hear that the place is beginning to feel like a home.

    I sure hope that continues to be true for the 3 of you, and becomes true for a lot of other people as well!

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