The Joy of the Process

When I hear the word “process”, I generally think of something unpleasant: the process of doing my taxes (ugh), the process of applying to, well, anything. “It’s a long process.” “Your request is being processed”.  Et cetera. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

But there’s one process of which I never tire, and that’s the process of putting together a show. Clearly, it’s something I enjoy (Hello! Your friendly neighborhood Artistic Director here!), but every time we start gathering the pieces, I’m reminded just how fun this whole crazy thing we do is.

TWBW True Believers Cast Photo: Back Row: Playwright Thom Dunn, Assistant Director David Max Gibbons, Actor Andrew Mattox II, Artistic Director James Peter Sotis, Literary Manager Zach Winston, Actor Jimmy Blackmon. Front Row: Actor Ryan Edlinger, Actor Rachel Katherine Alexander, Actor Ali Irwin, Actor Phil Silberman

The True Believers team-hover over for more detail!

Even something as small and laid back as our There Will Be Words series has that thrill to it. Last week, I sat down with everyone for the first official read through of True Believers, a nifty little play by local playwright Thom Dunn. I’ve worked with a bunch of the actors before—we have a wonderfully high rate of returning artists here at Vagabond—and there were some new faces in amongst the crowd. After pleasantries, how’ve-ya-beens and handing out scripts, we settled down in our own little way and read.

Good Lord, I love this job.

Would that you could have joined us in that room. We chose True Believers for its incredible wit and humor, and because we really connected with the story at its core. But up until that first read through, it lived only on paper—the speeches only heard in our heads. Hearing the words—the conversations happening in front of us, the fights, the jokes, the insults bandied about among our talented actors—was nothing short of magic.

We found characters that day. We discovered jokes we didn’t know were there. We created little moments between people, fictional and real. We took a story and made it an experience. And all of that for a little reading we’re doing in a bookstore (and café!). But I guess that’s what you get when you get a bunch of passionate people together and let them do what they do best.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that Theatre is Fun; “process” be damned. But you already knew that, didn’t you? That, and to say you should come see the reading of True Believers, this Thursday at 7pm.  There will be a Q&A afterward with the cast and playwright, so you can help us further develop this great project. Be there for the good times and get your hands a little dirty with some theatre. So, join in, and be a part of the “process”.

See you there!


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