BWW Blog: Ed Dixon of Casa Manana's OSWALD: THE ACTUAL INTERROGATION - New Week
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
We continued our work on act one as the day started and to everyone's great surprise, by the dinner break we had staged the entire first act of the play. So when we returned from eating we actually started at the top and worked all the way through act one. Because the play is so enormously serious, Casey broke the tension with humor over and over, and that coupled with looping back numerous times over each section, time seemed to stand still and by the end of the day, we felt that we'd been in rehearsal for a week. Many laughs were had over the fact that we'd all bonded and we'd dunned some of the more difficult passages into our heads and we'd only been at it for TWO DAYS. Then we all realized that we were going to get in more runs of the play than we'd anticipated and suddenly the ten day rehearsal period stopped seeming so frightening. (When I first heard that we were going to stage this gigantic play in ten days, I simply couldn't imagine it.) Did I mention that Casey Hussian is a truly marvelous director?
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
We started Wednesday with a photo shoot on stage. The uncanny resemblance to both historical figures did not go unremarked by anyone present. As soon as we got out of costume, I was sent home for a bit, which I never expected as there is hardly a moment when I'm not on stage... but this was the morning they decided to work on THAT moment. Here's where the story becomes stranger than fiction. During this break I received a contract for my new play, L'HOTEL, which is going to premiere at a first class theater in 2014. (I can't properly announce this event until this theater announces their season officially.) And also during this break, I received a phone call from a director in Dallas who's interested in licensing my WHODUNIT... THE MUSICAL which is already booked for its 13th production at the Broadway Rose Theater in Oregon next fall. You can't make this stuff up. After my break which was not a break, we went at Act Two tooth and tong and made it all the way to the climactic confrontation between Fritz and Oswald which precedes the murder of Lee Harvey by Jack Ruby. It was so shockingly dynamic on the first pass that we all had to stop and take an unscheduled break to get ourselves back together. This is going to take some PACING on a two show day, I can tell you that!
Thursday, October 31, 2013
I ran into Casey Hussion on the river walk early in the morning and we took an outing to the local Botanical Garden which lies between our hotel and Casa Manana. She didn't know it was there and it was a real pleasure to introduce it to her and to sit in an Oriental pagoda by giant Koi and talk about the play and life in general. (It was the first time the sun had come out since our arrival and it was a real relief.) We went back to the rehearsal room and continued working through act two and tried an experimental idea (from Wally Jones, the producer) of ending the play with a group of local vocalists singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic while an image of JFK is projected, accompanied by his inaugural address as the final moment of the play. I remain unconvinced about this idea, but we'll know more when we get further into the process and have more of the completed elements. At the end of rehearsal, I was somehow less tired than the previous day and Casey and I went to a local barbecue joint (which had more animal heads on the walls than any place outside the Serengeti) and had some great laughs. It was a day about hangin' with Casey.
Friday, November 1, 2013
Well, the day arrived. The first day we ambled our way through the entire play for the first time. It went shockingly well. I think actors called for lines like TWICE in the entire run-thru. Pretty amazing, considering it was our FIFTH day of rehearsal. Everyone from the crew to the cast to the director has been extraordinary during this miniscule process. I was very proud of all of us today, particularly Ben Williams, my partner in crime, who is carrying as large a load of non-sequitur-peppered dialogue as I am. A really, really invigorating day, and because of this crazy schedule, tomorrow is our day off this week, so I'm meeting local friends for dinner at a schmanzy restaurant and tomorrow I'm having lunch with a Ft. Worth friend and dinner with a Dallas friend. A very happy ending to our first almost-week.
My sidekick in the play, Montgomery Sutton