Friday, April 8, 2011

Where the Work Pays Off

We'll have an audience for The Copperhead tonight.

It's kinda funny, I don't think I've been this excited to open a show in a long while. I'm dying to see how people react to it. I think it's an interesting choice to kick off City Lit's Civil War Project, and I really don't know how people will react to it.

...And I don't care.

I know I bring up One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest a lot, probably too much, but it was a really profound experience for me. There were moments I had on stage with that show that still come back to me, vividly. I knew, early on, it was going to be a quality experience.

From the first read The Copperhead gave me a very similar feeling. Playing McMurphy and playing Milt Shanks are very different experiences, but the fulfillment I get, as an actor, is in the same realm. They both represent something iconic and American, to me. Both men asked me to believe and act on a confidence I would certainly not feel, in the situations they were in, places that I would be too afraid to go in "real life." That is a tremendous gift, and terrifying all at the same time.

I hope everyone sees this play, I hope the entire city comes out, but, even if no one does, I'll be content to walk this stage, and live this life in front of an empty theatre. I've always said I did this work for myself, and that the audience was a secondary consideration, for me. (As much as they can be...I'm not that big an egomaniac.) Sometimes you need a show, and an experience, like this to really put that into focus, and coming right now, at this point in my life, it is very, very welcome.

Of course, no show, no production is mounted alone, and the team assembled for this show was fantastic on every level. I cannot thank any of you enough for the joy, the confidence, and the camaraderie. I hope I have added to a rewarding experience of your own.

Our Cast:
Gannon Reedy, Judith Hoppe, Kate Tummelson, Thad Anzur, Susie Griffith, Grace Melon, Jon Stutzman, Kevin Gladish, Robert Dean, Miguel Cohen and Ed Krystosek.

Our Crew:
Set- Aaron Menninga, Lights - Jess Harpenau, Costume - Ricky Lurie, Props - Matthew Cummings, and Make Up - Jeffrey Lyle Segal

Our Fearless Leadership:
Director - Kathy Scambiatterra, Asst. Director - Peter Connors, and Stage Manager - Jordan Fleming

And the Fine Folks at City Lit:
Terry McCabe, Brian Pastor, Shawna Tucker and Katy Nielsen

If it isn't clear enough, I really want you to come see this show.

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