Tag Archives: romantic comedy

Proof

“Of course we all come to the theatre with baggage. The baggage of our daily lives, the baggage of our problems, the baggage of our tragedies, the baggage of being tired. It doesn’t matter what age you are. But if our hearts get opened and released — well that is what theatre can do, and does sometimes, and everyone is thankful when that happens.”
– Vanessa Redgrave

Tonight is Ashe County Little Theatre’s opening night of PROOF by David Auburn. I’m the director.

The director.

As someone who has only chosen to be on the stage for 30+ years, this is the first time that I’ve truly seen the “other side” of theatre. I’ve been a part of this process from the very beginning – from the very first day as I sat all curled up on my couch in my pajamas reading this random script that I had found at Goodwill.  (Yes! Goodwill!)  I’m not generally a “script reader.” But this one caught my attention – not only because I found it at Goodwill (I mean, seriously – who finds a theatre script at Goodwill!?), but because of the content. It was amazing. It was funny, dramatic, romantic, sad….real. I was hooked.

I remember gasping during one part and my husband looking over at me asking if I was okay. I looked up at him and my only response was, “I have to direct this show.”  Not, I want to be in this show.  But I want to direct it. I had never directed anything before. But I knew now was the time.

And here I am a few years later. After months of worrying, laughing, crying, rehearsing, rehearsing, and more rehearsing, I will have the privilege and honor of watching my beautiful cast make this story come to life tonight at the Ashe Civic Center.

Photo by Troy Brooks of Ashe Mountain Times

I want you to take a look at this group of people here to your right. These people (including a few more who aren’t pictured) have become my family. While struggling to bring you, the audience, a story about love, life, loss and moving on, each and every one you see sitting on that stage has been going through the exact same things in their personal lives. Bringing you a little two-hour production is not easy. Each of us are real people – we have lives off of the stage. And if you can name it, someone on that stage has probably experienced it in the past few months. Marital problems, job losses, family trouble…even the death of family members (two of us lost our grandmothers and one of us lost our mother, just in the eight weeks of rehearsals for this show). So much life has been happening to us behind the scenes.

But has that stopped us?  Nope.

The love of theatre – the love of art itself – is a hard thing to describe. You know the saying, the show must go on? Well, it must. It’s a pull in our souls that we can’t explain. We have to tell you this story. We just have to. All of us. From the director, to the volunteers who are moving the set around in between scenes – each and every one of us knows that we have to play our part in bringing you this story. Why? Heck, we don’t know. We just know it has to be told. And nothing will stop us from telling it.

I hope you’ll find a way to come see our show. We have poured our heart and soul into telling you a story, and we want you to come hear it. We want you to find yourself in this show – whether it be remembering what a first love felt like, remembering the tragedy of a loss, or finding confidence in yourself to pursue the dreams you know you’re capable of – you are going to see a piece of you in one or more of these characters.

This is theatre.  We have all felt what each other has felt, and we are going to get up on a stage and show you that. You are not alone. None of us are.

Come join our family this weekend, won’t you?

Allow me to leave you with the perfect words to describe our show and why you should be there. This is from one of the four stars of Proof: my dear friend, Ike Smith.

“Proof is a thoughtful, compelling story that at its root is about relationships: parent/child, sibling/sibling, and romantic. It’s about how people connect — or disconnect — when life becomes unexpected and uncertain. It’s about how we deal with conflict, both internal and external.

Is PROOF a comedy? Maybe, -ish. Is it a drama? Sort of. Sometimes it’s funny, and sometimes it’s serious, and that’s life. PROOF is real.

David Auburn wrote a great story, and we’ve got a great cast and crew to tell it for you. If you can, please join us. You won’t regret it.”

See you tonight!


***

“The theater-goer in conventional dramatic theater says: Yes, I’ve felt that way, too. That’s the way I am. That’s life. That’s the way it will always be. The suffering of this or that person grips me because there is no escape for him. That’s great art — Everything is self-evident. I am made to cry with those who cry, and laugh with those who laugh.”
– Bertolt Brecht

All show rehearsal photos by Bobbi Jo Scott, Producer.

Advertisements

Um, what?

umwhat

Relationships.

Shewwww.  I could sit here and blog for days about that topic and you and I both would still be just as confused as we were before I ever started rambling.  And the same goes for any other blogger or self-help book author or psychologist or preacher…or WHOEVER.  You know why?  Because NO ONE understands this mess.  No one.

Oh, you may think you do.  You may be floating along in your relationship bliss thinking you have it allll figured out, silently looking down your snooty little “look at me, I’m in an awesome relationship” nose at all the peons below you who can’t seem to figure it out, when suddenly…Bam!  Something comes out of left field and knocks you right back flat on your not-so-know-it-all a… um, butt.

Oh yeah.  Been there.

So, I’m not even going to sit here and pretend that I have anything any more figured out than the rest of you do.  Don’t worry.

But I am going to tell you one thing.  And I am 110% sure that I’m absolutely correct on this observation.

Some of the songs that are being put out there for today’s youth to listen to?  Yeah.  They are NOT helping.

Holy crap, have you heard some of this stuff?  And yes, I’m blatantly aware that I sound like my mother right now, but ask me if I care.  Go on, ask me.  Because I’m not referring to anything like bad language in the lyrics or the decibel that the songs are played at (although I do wish my kids would turn that crap down…that can’t be healthy…).  No, this isn’t the typical “the world is going to hell in a hand basket” rant.

Ok, let me give you a few examples.

I Want Crazy – Hunter Hayes

Who cares if you’re all I think about,
I’ve searched the world and I know now,
It ain’t right if you ain’t lost your mind
Yeah, I don’t want easy, I want crazy…
Yeah, look at us baby, tonight the midnight rules are breaking
There’s no such thing as wild enough,
And maybe we just think too much
Who needs to play it safe in love?
Let’s be crazy!

[Oh no – you certainly don’t want to ‘think too much’ or ‘play it safe’ when it comes to choosing your life mate, right?  That is, like, soooo totally uncool.]

Please Don’t Leave Me – Pink

I don’t know if I can yell any louder,
How many times have I kicked you out of here
Or said something insulting?
I can be so mean when I wanna be,
I am capable of really anything,
I can cut you into pieces,
When my heart is broken.
Please, don’t leave me
Please, don’t leave me
I always say how I don’t need you
But it’s always gonna come right back to this
Please, don’t leave me

[Oh, don’t worry, sweetie.  Surely to goodness he wouldn’t leave you just from something silly like yelling, throwing him out of the house, or continuously insulting him, right?]

Marry You – Bruno Mars

It’s a beautiful night,
We’re looking for something dumb to do.
Hey baby,
I think I wanna marry you.
Is it the look in your eyes,
Or is it this dancing juice?
Who cares baby,
I think I wanna marry you.

[Oh dear God.  That is all I have to say.]

The Way I Loved You – Taylor Swift

He respects my space
 And never makes me wait
And he calls exactly when he says he will
He’s close to my mother
Talks business with my father
He’s charming and endearing, and I’m comfortable
But I miss screamin’ and fightin’ And kissin’ in the rain
And it’s two a.m. and I’m cursin’ your name
You’re so in love that you act insane
And that’s the way I loved you
Breakin’ down and comin’ undone
It’s a roller-coaster kinda rush
And I never knew I could feel that much
And that’s the way I loved you
He can’t see the smile I’m fakin’
And my heart’s not breakin’
‘Cause I’m not feelin’ anything at all

[Oh, T-Swizzle, how I hate to put you on this list.  I’m the last adult alive that still defends your music and your songwriting skills, but I have to call you out on this one, kiddo.  Wow.  Really?  Here, hun, I’ll tell ya what.  You don’t want that guy you described at the beginning?  I, along with the rest of the women on the FACE OF THE EARTH, will gladly take him off your hands.  Are you insane??]

*sigh*  I can’t list anymore examples.  My brain hurts.

So, you see a theme here, right?

These songs (and basically just society in general if I’m going to go ahead and lay it all out there) are teaching our kids that if love isn’t tumultuous and dramatic, then it’s not love.  If it’s not wild and reckless, it’s not love.  If there isn’t knock-down drag-out screaming craziness, then it’s not love.  If there aren’t grandiose breakups followed by tear-filled reconciliations filled with syrupy sweet background violins playing, then it’s not love.

Um, what?

No.  NO.  Just, no.

That crap is not love.  You know what that crap is?  That crap is a soap opera.  A movie.

Speaking of movies, my daughter and I watched another of your typical contemporary chick flicks over the weekend.  “27 Dresses.”  Cute movie, don’t get me wrong.  But it was soooo predictable.  And quite like the rest of it’s kind.  Entertaining, yes.  But realistic?  Ok, so you meet some guy – you’re super incredibly mean to him – and yet he still follows you around like a puppy, calls you incessantly (which you eventually find cute rather than filing the restraining order on him that you should have from the start if this were actually happening), and sends you flowers on a pretty much daily basis until you finally, against your better judgment, agree to go out with him.  Oh, and by the way, he’s drop dead gorgeous of course.  Of course.  (Have I sighed yet in this blog?  *Sigh*)

Well, in the middle of watching this movie, my boyfriend shows up at our house with food.  I knew he was coming, so we paused the movie and ate a quick lunch with him before he had to head to work for the rest of the night.  Now, mind you, this guy lives 30 minutes away from me.  So, bringing us lunch involved an hour’s drive round trip – all before going in to work a busy night shift as a bartender.  My daughter, being the inquisitive thinker that she is, just point blank asked me why he would do that.  So, I told her.

It’s because he loves us.

No, there are no flowers showing up at my doorstep every day.  No, there is no screaming at 2:00 a.m.  (Ok, well, maybe there was that one time…)  [Kidding, kidding…]  And no, we are not going to get married because ‘it’s a beautiful night and we’re looking for something dumb to do.’  So, sadly, I guess there aren’t going to be any contemporary hit songs written about our relationship any time soon.

And thank God for that.

But I am proud to have been able to allow my daughter to witness one moment of what a relationship should be.  Of what a relationship – a good relationship – really is.  And I hope with all of my heart that she goes on in life and remembers that day that Richard brought her and her mom lunch before he went to work.  No, our relationship isn’t perfect.  Not by a long shot.  But it’s real.  And that’s what I want her to see.  That is the standard I want her to use to base her future relationships on.

Sadly, I haven’t always shown her the example of a good relationship.  And I wish I could go back in time and undo that.  But, for now, and from this point forward, I hope she can watch and learn what I wish I would have learned a long time ago.  Relationships aren’t about the drama.  They just aren’t.  They’re about the quiet, tender times.

No fanfare.  No explosions.

Just an unexpected, love-filled lunch brought to you in the middle of a chick flick.

Just….sweetness.  You know?

Simple, pure, boring ol’ sweetness. That’s it.

***

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”  
– Louis de Bernieres, Corelli’s Mandolin