One of the original ideas behind the Wrestling site was to include a blog, thus allowing the public a look into our glorious fishbowl. Time, however, has prevented this from happening. Since Return of the Reluctant has remained sadly devoid of any new material, I thought I’d use this space to post updates on the play. (For those seeking literary-related content, look elsewhere until mid-September.) The updates will also be mirrored over at the Wrestling site, thus eviscerating two birds with one kidney stone.
First, the good news. The show is coming along well. By some miracle, we’re on schedule — due largely to the contributions of our amazing stage manager Zarina Khan, to whom I have officially pledged both kidneys. The first forty minutes have been blocked and we’re now working on the last twenty. The cast is doing a remarkable job. I’m amazed by their energy and commitment. We’ve shifted our rehearsals to a converted loft with a platform that (again, by some miracle) closely matches the stage dimensions of the Exit at Taylor theatre.
There was a bit of a headache (no pun intended) over our flickering fluorescent opening — specifically, over how we’d do it. Thankfully our key stagehand Umar Qureshi came up with the incredibly obvious idea of using a slow strobe. (Work enough sixteen hour days and you too will avoid the obvious.) Which was doubly amazing, given that we had considered just about every other idea aside from this astonishingly simple solution. (It happened too with the design, when Staci Hamacher, one of our capable techies, pointed out the obvious: Mix two paints together and you get the shade you want.)
The remarkable Marisa Williams (who does fantastic typographical and photography work and whom you should hire for your freelancing needs — posthaste) has designed our postcards (fab fab stuff!), and we will be unleashing this publicity upon San Francisco next week.
Our file cabinet created by Randy Markham resembles a fabulous amalgam between something out of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Edward Gorey. Our flat, which was designed by Paul Tognotti, will be painted this week. We’ve designed the flat so that it can be set up in seconds. (The Fringe people require us to setup and strike within 15 minutes, which includes carrying our set into the theatre and rigging the light — an insane situation by just about any standard. Thankfully, we have a stopwatch.) The alligator painting should be in our hands by the end of this week. Our desk too has been crafted, so that we can assemble the top onto our two bases. We hope to have photos of the set up soon.
We’re still short on stagehands. And while efforts are underway to recruit volunteers on this front, we’re looking for a few sturdy souls to help us lug and assemble our set. We’re a low-budget operation, but what we can offer in return is a comp ticket for any of the four shows and entry into our exclusive debauchery-laden wrap party. If you’re in the San Francisco area and you’re interested in helping us out for a few hours, please drop me a line.
For all interested parties, we hope to see you at one of the shows! Check the website for info. If you’re interested in getting in early on the action, advance tickets go on sale on Wednesday (which if my calculations are correct, might be tomorrow).
Last but not least, this production could not have happened without the cast and crew on board. They will be plugged and otherwise celebrated in the weeks to come. The fact that so many talented people have put their heads together for this has blown me away.