(Part of a series about creating a new production of “Metamorphoses” by Mary Zimmerman at Georgia Shakespeare, summer, 2013.)
We made it. The show is open.
Friday was a magical night. Friends, family, and supporters filled the theater. The weather was perfect for a picnic on the grounds before the show (one of the highlights of our location on the campus of Oglethorpe University).
We’d ironed out tiny details in the afternoon, finished tweaking lights and sound, and gathered for final words from our Fearless Leader Richard. He reminded us to keep the show fresh every night, to bring all our energy and focus to the play every time we do it, to avoid cockiness or complacency. “Theater is a gift we give to other people,” he reminded us. “Always keep that gift alive. Make it the best gift possible.”
Then we were off to prepare, each in his or her own way, for the night ahead. Some do physical and vocal warm-ups at the theater; some go over prop and costume changes; some review lines. There’s always a sense of excitement and anticipation on opening night.
Costumes, make-up, hair: everything has to be just right. We are representing not only ourselves, but every person who worked on the show: designers, technicians, staff members, crew. When the audience sees us, they are seeing the work of many.
Finally, the houselights dim, the stage is lit, and it’s time. Time to do the work. Time to tell the stories. Time to step into the light.
Now we begin the second journey, a journey of discovery as we play together six nights a week for at least the next four weeks. I can’t wait.