Written by InViolet Company Member Bixby Elliot.
For the last few days I have been having an affair.
I have been frolicking and playing around and engaging in intimate contact with another…theater company! Scandalous, I know. But before you judge me and get all conservative on me, you should know that I have “permission to play”. You know what that is, right? It is kind of like a “Celebrity Pass” (where your partner allows you to have sex with your celebrity crush if you actually meet them). Well – InViolet wants me to go out into the world and co-mingling with other theaters and start relationships because it makes me a stronger artist and that in turn makes InViolet a stronger and better theater company. That is hot, right?
I am currently cheating with PAVEMENT GROUP in Chicago where my new play GIRL YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE is being produced and I am happy to report that things are going very well. It has been an exciting few days. I flew to Chicago on Sunday April 1st. I was greeted with a pot luck party where I met a ton of the cast and crew for the show and ate multiple rice crispy treats. It was a great way to get to know everyone and get acclimated to one another. We also made custom slap bracelets for the show (audience will get these instead of tix when they arrive). Note: I recognize that while I might have permission to “theater-cheat” on InViolet – they might not forgive me for “craft-cheating” (please try to find it in your heart to forgive me InVioleters).
The next day brought the first rehearsal (that I would attend) and a run thru of the play. While I was nervous I wasn’t apoplectic – I had done a workshop in November with Pavement and knew many of the actors and certainly knew the director David Perez’s work. I was confident they would be headed in the right direction.
Well – the run thru was spectacular. David has done a brilliant job with the show and the actors are phenomenal – all of them! For me, any nerves I had just dissipated entirely and I am was able to really enjoy seeing the play come to life.
I have been working on this play for the better part of a year and a half and have seen numerous readings/workshops…but nothing compares to seeing it come to life in rehearsal. Seeing the actors playing Rob and Fab of Milli Vanilli in their wigs doing period specific dance moves, watching the actors performing A & B fully inhabit their roles and bring the characters to life with nuance and humor, taking in the small details you had never thought of – like the actress playing Megan imbuing her character with a perpetually runny nose or the actress playing Sid surprising me with this funny accent or the final scene being played with such purity and honesty that it brought tears to my eyes…so many amazing moments and details – too many to list here.
It is the thing you live for as an artist/playwright – that moment when your work leaves your head and comes to life – on a stage. It is indescribable and it is what all the work is for!
We are heading into tech this weekend – where we will add sets, costumes, lights and the whole thing will get bigger and crazier and even more wonderful.
I am settling into a groove with my Chicago “theater lovers” – they are gentle and kind to me and most of all they are being so wonderful and amazing with this play. I feel so incredibly grateful to have found such a talented and dynamic group of people who called me and said, “hey, we want to produce your play.”
I miss my InViolet family back in NYC but I am also grateful for their support and encouragement – I wouldn’t be here without them. They have helped nurture this play (at the 2011 InViolet Retreat and beyond) and I feel like every day I get emails or FB posts about the show from InVioleters – asking how it is going and checking in with me. It is amazing to know that, back at home, I have a whole group of people cheering me on!
You see, making theater with multiple “theater lovers” can be a beautiful thing!
Girl You Know It’s True is being presented by Chicago’s PAVEMENT GROUP. April 12, 2012 – May 13, 2012 Thursday through Saturday @ 7:30pm, Sunday @ 3pm; Opening Night 4/16; Industry Night 4/23. For tickets go to www.pavementgroup.org
When a middle-aged playwright fails to get his work produced he conjures up a radical new identity for himself: an impostor. His stand in – an African American Lesbian woman in a wheelchair – instantly shoots to fame. Needless to say, shit hits the fan. Told in tandem with the infamous Milli Vanilli scandal, Girl You Know it’s True is a hilarious and bold indictment of the institution of theatre and true intent behind the act of creation.