Once Upon A Song at Twilight

When I was 24 years old I had the opportunity to assistant direct, Noël Coward’s A Song at Twilight, at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles. It had an incredible cast: David Rogge, Laurie O’Brien, Alley Mills, and Orson Bean.

Working with the director, James Glossman, was great. Being one of those directors who actually asks their AD for their thoughts – not as common as you’d like to think. Especially as a 24 year old woman. Not to mention the privilege [and an every day acting lesson] to be in a room with acting legends like Laurie, Alley, and Orson. I earned my spot in that room but I was also fantastically lucky to be there.

I don’t have a very good memory. I never have. It’s one of the reasons I write as much as I do. But I remember Orson Bean. I remember his laugh and his near constant state of positivity & amusement – which is often written about. It’s real. I remember a preview where he, with another actor, went totally up on lines and the director & I sat together simultaneously sinking into our chairs and leaning forward to see how and if they’d get back on track. They did…eventually… and it was one of the most exciting, alive, amazing moments I’ve ever seen in the theatre. I also remember the day, Orson found out I wasn’t being paid for my job as Assistant Director. The next day he handed me an envelope with $100 cash in it and hugged me and said, “go buy yourself some groceries or something”. Every week after that he did the same thing. When the show opened and the director went back to NYC, Orson asked me if I would come back each week to watch the show and give him and the actors thoughts, to ‘keep them in line” and make sure ‘we don’t go off the rails’ for which he paid me. Of course I said yes.

It wasn’t just the money, which as an artist in LA meant a lot & I was extremely thankful. Not to mention, it was the first time I’d been paid as a director outside of arts education. It was that this amazingly talented, world class actor and artist, SAW ME. Valued me and my ideas & opinions being in his rehearsal and performance space. Encouraged me [most people couldn’t believe I was in LA to do theatre…and he told me that’s what he was there for. He did all the other stuff so he could.]. Believed in me. I still have one of the $20 bills he gave me in a scrap book box at my parents. A beautiful reminder of not only that experience for me – but how I hope I can do that for another artist one day. Lots of artists. I hope. I will.

He was – is – an inspiration to me & my life as an artist and I am truly heartbroken that he’s gone. I will forever regret that I didn’t stay in better touch and let him know that, what I imagine to him was a seemingly small gesture, affected me so tremendously. That it helped to make me the artist I am today and the artist I strive to be in the future.

Don’t miss your chance. Tell your people. Hug your people. Love your people. And for art’s sake, support each other. However, you can.

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Like a Virgin…

Participating in the 14/48 Festival is always something special but this weekend, getting to be a part of the band, really reminded me what it was all about… I was challenged, I was excited, I was scared, I got to live out my punk rock princess dreams, surrounded & supported by 5 incredible musicians who made the experience truly unforgettable. It was a beautiful reminder of what is possible. And that doing something I’m terrified of usually works out for the best… and this was THE BEST. 81886764_10157360101224145_7661758585575047168_o.jpg

 

 

In a time such as this we need gathering places like the theatre more than ever.

You are not alone.

Theatre is my home. It is my home Monday-Sunday. It is how I pay my bills. It is where I spend time with my friends. It is where I spend time with strangers. [Sometimes turned friends.] It is where I build blanket forts and tell stories with flashlights hanging from grids.

You are not alone.

Theatre is my home. Where I go when I am happy, when I am sad, when I need to hear others laugh, when I don’t want to drink alone because I know I’ll find you there [whoever you are, new friend or old.], to escape, to be present, to be.

You are not alone.

Theatre is my home. Where I go to experience stories. To see your story told. To see my story. To see those whose story I never knew existed and am better now for having spent 75 minutes [or 160] learning more about the world and the people with whom I coexist. Their struggles, their successes, their dreams [ours?], that we are the same but different. Different but the same. And sometimes just different. I want to know all of the stories.

You are not alone.

Theatre is community. Momentary and forever. It has always been and will always be. We watch plays 3,000 years old and are connected to those today that existed once and are left only in the DNA of memory. We watch new plays and are connected to today and the melding of moments that brought us all into the same room to experience a story crafted by a cohabitant of our earth. Every moment of time, every choice we each had to make, our parents made, our ancestors, to land us in a theatrical space together to watch a story unfold before us. Together. A gathering of a community that will never replicate exactly like this one. But has happened over and over for always – we, an infinite variation on a theme.

You are not alone.

Theatre is ephemeral. And it isn’t. It may never happen again just like this but it may happen over & over again in someone’s head. They may tell another. Their story of seeing the chandelier crash. The poison drunk. The children sacrificed. The heart broken. The nanny flying away. The gun shot. An outcast defying gravity. Finding the bird of paradise. They may not. I make theatre because of moments I have seen I’ll never forget. That changed me. Taught me. And I know it changes lives. [Because it changed mine.]

You are not alone.

I have written many words. For me. Because it is how I process. But it is also for you. Because you are not alone. I am only one but I am with you. And if you need a place to go, I am offering my home. Theatre is my home and theatre is abundant in Seattle and it *welcomes you. Below I’m going to list [to my knowledge and ability] every place you can go the next few days and find a community & home. IF that is what you are seeking. This may not be your answer and I whatever it may be, I am still with you. You are not alone.

*Yes, theatre often costs money, if cost is an issue please reach out to me personally at delmarrachel@gmail.com and I can see what I can do. Because theatre is made for you and you get to go.

YOU are NOT alone.

Currently Running:

Theatre22’s The Pride

The Habit: The Final Cut at The Bathhouse Theater

Annex Theatre’s The Lost Girls

Annex Theatre’s Unexpected Wilderness

New Century Theatre Company’s The Big Meal

White Rabbit Red Rabbit at 18th & Union

BIG BAD at Ghostlight Theatricals

Second Story Rep’s Rocky Horror Picture Show

Opening this Weekend:

Village Theatre’s Singin’ in the Rain

Closing this Weekend:

Seattle Shakespeare Company’s MEDEA

Seattle Rep’s Roz & Ray

Bellevue Youth Theatre’s Bye Bye Birdie 

Seattle Opera’s As One: a Transgender Story

This Weekend Only:

Yurei: The Lost Chapter of Hotel Nordo

Lottery Drawing Party for Seattle Fringe at Solo Bar

SPT Youth’s Evidently the Evidence is Evident

Improv/Comedy/Theatrical Experiences Always Available at:

Unexpected Productions, Jet City Improv, Pocket Theater, Slate Theater,

The Next Generation

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I have the honor of directing for ACT Theatre’s Young Playwright Program again this year. ACT sends out teaching artists to Seattle & its surrounding areas to teach playwrighting through out a semester. From their classes, each teacher picks one play that gets the opportunity to be workshopped by professional artists and presented in a staged reading.

This year I’ve gotten to work with a young lady playwright on her play, The Marvelous Jerico, with a very talented group of actors. She is only 12 but there is nothing only about her. She knows what she’s doing and how she wants to put her words out in the world. I can’t wait to be a part of the talk backs with her.

Join us!

March 11th at 7:30pm. March 12th at 1pm.

Tickets –> HERE!