Keiko invited me to direct her play early in the summer, when she only had a single page and a great idea for a one-act play. I immediately said yes, having enjoyed Keiko’s writing when I met her during the proposal process for Annex and from what I’d seen at Spin the Bottle. I knew she was a smart and funny playwright, and from what I heard of her idea for a script, this play could go dark. After doing “Sending a Message” for Star Crossed, I knew that was my style.
I got a full script at the end of July, we did a read-through in early August, I got some revisions a couple of weeks later, and after two of my actors took some vacations and the other made a film, we started rehearsals right after Labor Day. In less than 3 weeks, we put together this play, complete with inflatable air mattress. It was a nearly impossible feat, and if I had to do it again I would certainly rehearse more and longer (my larger lesson from this year).
In addition to a tight rehearsal schedule, one of my actors got sick *and* had a family emergency. The result was imaginative thinking and me stepping into her role on one of the performance nights. Keiko played the part the following day, and it created a bizarre mélange of actresses and interpretations. It was fun.
The last time I acted onstage was when one of my actors had a personal emergency during my senior year directing Aria da Capo. I was fucking scared, and pretty sure I would fail miserably, so we decided to not charge an admission price for my performance and if I had to hold the script on stage, so be it. I started memorizing that night, and by the next afternoon during our walk-through rehearsal (Keiko and I alternated playing scenes with Shane) I nearly knew the entire script. The result was a fun and exciting experience where I truly learned the difference between the head and the heart and what it means to speak the truth.
We were among some fantastic, well-known shows at Annex in the Seattle Fringe Festival. I also had the AMAZING experience of being noticed by an audience member at my coffee shop. She said she and her husband chose our show to see at the Fringe Fest (they only saw one!) and she happened to be there the night I performed. I got to tell her the whole story, which she said made her appreciate the performance even more. I am so glad we didn’t cancel the show (we had pretty much decided to after our first talk).
Operation Hibernation featured Shane Regan, Sascha Streckel, and Sarah Winsor. The photos above were taken by Shane and myself. Unfortunately, due to the suddenness of us having to step in, I did not get any photos of the performances. Below is the teaser trailer Keiko put together for the play: