It’s beautiful here – except for the weather. The weather, alas, is the same as it is back home; muggy, stormy and generally uncomfortable.
The night of my arrival, after a 5 hour train trip that turned into 6 hours, and a 90 minute trip from the train station to Chautauqua, I dropped my stuff off at the apartment, met my roommates (I was the last one in) and then we all went over to the Artistic Director’s house for a lovely meal.
It rained torrentially while we were there. Thunder, lightning, the whole shebang.
But then this happened:
I haven’t edited this photo, save for adding the watermark.
This is how it looked on Chautauqua Lake.
We’ve been in rehearsals for two days now. I love the cast members I have met so far. More are coming on Thursday. And, as always seems to be the case, I’ve found out that I coached two of them years ago at the Old Globe. Theater is an extremely small world. In that same vein, one of my roommates is the costumer designer and we were chatting about her wedding a couple of years ago, which, it turns out, took place very near to my home in a well-known mountain resort. She told me that the rehearsal dinner took place at a different venue – an old distillery – and I quickly figured out that she was describing a place just down the road from our cottage. Then she remarked on what a lovely area it is and that she worked with an actor once who lived in that same town. Now, I know of a few well-known actors who live near us, so I was thinking about possible names. As she struggled to remember his name, she mentioned that they had worked together in Pygmalion in Williamstown.
She was talking about Don.
The moment I realized it, I said “That’s my husband!” And we laughed. I also got a chuckle because I was thinking of all these other names and not Don’s. Theater is truly a small world.
Then my other roommate, who I met last year and who has a long history with the Chautauqua Theater Company, and I had a conversation and we discovered I had coached him in a production of The Countess at the Old Globe. When I met him last year, I thought he looked familiar and I also remember a conversation we had at the time where we racked our brains trying to figure out how we knew each other. It wasn’t until this year that we got the connection.
Just after this realization, we walked back to the rehearsal room and another actor in the play who has done a lot of television and film work (on The Wire, for example) looked at me and said, “We’ve worked together. I recognized you when I saw you.” And then we went through possible connections and realized we had worked together on a production of The Hostage at the Old Globe.
It never fails to amaze me. I’ve coached hundreds and hundreds of productions over the years, so the details don’t always come readily to mind, but I never forget a face. I knew I recognized that actor, but the director said it was probably from The Wire. Turns out it was because I coached him in a Irish dialect!
I love this sort of thing. It’s so wonderful to meet up again with faces from the past.