The opening night production of Beets went quite well. The house was packed and the cast & crew rose to the occasion.  The audience was quite responsive to the script and as a result we found out where the real laugh lines were. The trick to acting is to lift a 1 dimensional string of characters from a page and give them depth and color.

The only production snag was with the house lights. For some reason the software wasn’t able to call for the house lights to dim. The lighting guy opened the door of an obscure closet in the vaudeville-era backstage to reveal a glowing, LED festooned, 6 ft tower of computerized widgetry. Working feverishly and with green pinpoints of light reflecting off his smudged bifocals (a la Dave Bowman), he finally toggled the right button and got the house lights to darken. Otherwise the software-driven lights and sound worked well.

I wasn’t nervous until 15 minutes before showtime. Standing in the wings I tried to recite my lines in my head, but just couldn’t summon them from the turbid depths. I don’t mind sayin’, this was a distressing development. But after I walked on stage the lines came on cue and we got the thing done.

From the comments at the reception after the show it was apparent that the audience understood the story and were emotionally drawn into it. For two hours we suspended reality and had a shared experience. This is the goal of the writer, director, cast, and crew. When it works it is an amazing thing.

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