Is this week.
I’m in the play “Next Fall” byÂ Geoffrey Nauffts, at Grandstreet Theatre, which is just amazing to me. I’ve only been in one other production there, when I was typecast as Trekkie Monster in “Avenue Q“. That was a blast.
This play, however, is not as fun.Â Not fun, but it’s amazing. My character, Brandon, is so not me that it’s been a real trick to get into his head. He’s religious, for fuck’s sake.
And not just religious, he’s fanatical in a self-imposed way that keeps him from being out, from being involved with a lover, and keeps him from truly being himself – Â and he doesn’t quite realize this. That doesn’t mean he’s not self-aware, he very much is. His self-awareness just includes a series of blind-spots that are significant, and intriguing.
Brandon is not me.
There are parts of me that could be him. This is where acting becomes a trick, because the real you takes a backseat, while other parts of you are magnified and remixed to compose the personality of the character, and when you do it right, you see the world thru the eyes of the character. It’s really quite fun, but it’s not always comfortable.
In rehearsal, we’ve been having some interesting discussions about the themes of the play – religion, family, sexuality, society, interpersonal relationships, personal boundaries, etc. – and then we’ve all taken that in and used it in constructing the characters. And we have some amazing characters.
It’s fitting that we’re opening this show the weekend of Montana Pride. There are so many times I’ve wondered how much longer we are going to need to have Pride celebrations – not because I don’t love them, because I totally do – because it’d be nice to get to a place where everyone is accepted for who and what they are, regardless of if others understand it. That year is not this year, but I’m hopeful it will happen in my lifetime.
That said, I don’t want to give away the show, so I won’t, and writing up the spoiler-free version of what I’m thinking as we go into the final week of rehearsals has been a trick. I can’t say much, other than it’s a really good play. It was nominated for a Tony award in 2010, and while it didn’t win, it certainly deserves a nod.
And the actors. Holy gods, our cast is small and amazing. I’m so humbled to be working with Jeff, Dee, Pam, Terry & Abby, as they are all brilliant. And, as I’ve told her, I was terrified of auditioning for Marianne because, well, I don’t know why, but there it is, I was, and it’s been awesome working with her.
So yeah, the show is going to be great. It covers some themes that are hard, and it’s not always comfortable, and it’ll make you think. That’s what good theatre does, and this is great theatre. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.
p.s. If you haven’t gotten tickets yet, click the leaf logo above and get them. There are only 40 seats per show, so it’s going to sell out, quickly.