We got together last evening for the first reading of Rabbit Island. The Core Theatre peeps were there and Michael Birch and Sarah Bass came out to read 2 of the roles. We met at Tim Sutton’s massage studio on W. 47th St. 7 of us fit comfortably around the table. It was actually at a good height for putting scripts in front and taking notes. And not as sleezy as it might seem.
Lisa Bruno read for Carrie Heitman who was off in Chicago doing Chicago things. Lisa was great as always. I like hearing what people bring out who haven’t heard in a role. I can’t wait to hear Carrie now.
Michael was freaking brilliant as the messed up therapist. I know I will always have to be on my game with him or I will crack up. I don’t know how people are that funny. He’s one of those people who doesn’t really need material to be good.
And good goobly moobly seeing Sarah Bass after 19 years and 4 months was a real treat. I never actually got to act with her back in the NCSA days but I always admired her work. She was brilliant as Viola in Twelfth Night and amazing as Mary Stuart. Now she was across from me on the massage table reading some wack job script I wrote. Part of my brain was acting, part was the playwright trying to take notes and part was like, “wow, that’s that person from 20 years ago.”
I have a long way to go on the script. It’s a world that’s a little off so I need to make it accessible for the audience who will come to visit it. I need to get the trajectories of each of the characters clearer. Last night helped define what each of their hang ups are.
I got lots of great notes last night. I tried to get to the meat of what wasn’t working. I think the play is funny and the characters are interesting. The plot’s not there yet. It’s an alternate reality but not that alternate. It’s a dark comedy when the characters are fully in place but it seems like a quick, breezy thing otherwise. The meaning behind things needs to be clarified.