BWW Blog: Ed Dixon of Casa Manana's OSWALD: THE ACTUAL INTERROGATION
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Casey Hushion (Director) and Ben Williams (Oswald) came to my apartment in New York to discuss the play, OSWALD: THE ACTUAL INTERROGATION. After a VERY interesting chat, we ended up reading through the entire play which was very exciting and invigorating. I had been working on the script for a couple of months before this meeting (since I'm the interrogator, the script is a real bear!) so I was very exciting to jump in with my coworkers. We were all terribly excited about the whole situation when that marvelous meeting concluded.
Sunday, October 27th
Ben and I boarded a Laguardia Flight for Texas. The flight was packed, Ben was next to a charming young woman and I was seated next to a monster from hell and two screaming children and a doctor who talked of radical prostate surgery loudly for the duration. I do not have the language skills to voice my hatred for flying properly. We arrived and checked into a Residence Inn which is SURPRISINGLY nice and has a beautiful view of the river which dissects Ft. Worth. Very deep sleep ensued.
Monday, October 28th
I drove in my beautiful Volkswagen rental car to Casa Manana where I had gotten my Equity card in 1969! To this day the site of that silver geodesic dome rising from the plane of Texas fills me with joy. I entered the main concourse and saw a poster on the wall from 1970 of YOUR OWN THING with my name right next to Betty Buckley's. (We ran into each other last week in New York and laughed about how incredibly YOUNG we were back then.) I then proceeded to wardrobe where the fabulous Casa costume department put me into a costume that fit PERFECTLY on the very first try. When I donned the suit, glasses and cowboy hat, I was instantly transformed into a dead ringer for Will Fritz, the interrogator who grilled Lee Harvey Oswald for 48 hours before he was shot by Jack Ruby. Then Ben Williams (who had just finished playing Romeo and Hamlet) returned from his radical haircut and even without the tradeMark White t-shirt, had utterly transformed into Mr. Oswald. Stunning!
We then joined the wonderful cast of local actors (eight of us in all) for the first read through. This is always such an exciting moment and this one was a pip! The play by Dennis Richard is enormously exciting and filled with minutia of the event which no one knows, no matter how much they've studied their history. His play is taken from the actual notes of Will Fritz's interrogation and historical footage of interviews. We had no sooner finished that when Casey Hussian began zooming through the staging. We only have TEN DAYS to put this mammoth event together, and she, marvelously prepared as she was, wasted not one single second. I was amazed at how far we got into the staging of the first act before the day ended and we staggered back to the hotel on the river.
My apartment where Casey and Ben and I met the first time
The Ft. Worth river behind our hotel
Poster from 1970 with me and Betty Buckley in YOUR OWN THING...
The real will Fritz
Me as will Fritz
Casa Manana exterior
Casa Manana season