Friday, January 06, 2006


Our first remounting of a show has come and gone, and I for one am happy with the results. I was at first VERY apprehensive about restaging A Very Nosedive Christmas Carol, for all the obvious reasons. But it ended up being a whole lot of fun. I was glad to see so many newcomers as well as return audience members (that was my biggest concern, that we either wouldn’t get repeat business or we would, but the majority of returning customers would be disappointed because we would be unable to live up to their fond memories of last year’s production.). It was also nice to hear positive feedback from the returning audience members.

It’s a nice feeling to get a handful of packed houses in a 100-seat theatre (a new experience for us). It’s also good to do a “feel good” show now, since the next couple plays on our plate for 2006 are very much of the “dark and depressing” variety.

Pete and I have mulled over what we’re going to do about the show next year. He’s thinking about staging it just as a one-night-only deal. I could be convinced to give one more (and ONLY one more) rewrite to it, making the three productions an endless loop (not unlike the way Marley sees his job in the afterlife as being an endless loop).

But, as Marley says, “We’ve got a whole year to prepare.”

Of course, after we finished Carol, it was time to get to the meat of the holiday season. I spent my Christmas back home in New Hampshire, which was nice (albeit supremely uneventful) and returned to New York for New Year’s, which sucked. I think everyone in Nosedive has been thoroughly sick of 2005 and wanted it to be over and done with (myself included, although not as badly as everyone else, since 2004 was really the year from hell for me) and I was very much hoping the (admittedly overrated) holiday would be a huge blast.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t, but eh, whatcha gonna do? (According to Christopher Yustin and my sister, alienate a bunch of my sister’s friends, that’s what.)

* * *

Now that the holidays are over and done with, we have to kick into high gear for not only 2006, but for the month of January.

Some of the things that have to be done (and I’m already behind on) are:

· Finish writing a handful of one-acts.

· Have the reading for The Adventures of Nervous Boy (A Penny Dreadful).

· Spend one day this week watching all six episodes of Star Wars in order (and make sure this works with everyone’s schedule, since none of us are ever going to watch Episode I again after this).

· Send in this Jamespeak so I can finish my ‘Top Ten’ list.

· Finish and send in my ‘Top Ten’ list.

· Get a sandwich.

· Meet up with that chick from Philadelphia I’ve been flirting with online (and in person) for the past two weeks.

· Get organized with my upcoming online “dialogue” with playwright Mac Rogers (which should occur right here on this very site).

Some of my more astute readers may have noticed that nowhere in this sampled to-do list is McTeague mentioned. That, of course, is because after doing several rewrites, a couple readings and getting dramaturgical help from friend and former teacher/director Stephen Kelsey (thanks, Steve!), it needs a whole lot of work.

A LOT of work.

Basically, I’m trying to figure out if my play based on the book is indeed stageable. The biggest problem I’m having right now is that the general consensus (that I’m agreeing with) is that all — or at least most — of the subplots and secondary characters have to be excised. So, this brings me at the crossroads with the script and kind of hamstrings me. I have to ask myself, why bother adapting the book to the stage if I have to cut 80% of the book (and thereby 70-75% of what I loved about it)?

Not only that, it’s a show that requires a large, large, LARGE budget. The way it’s written, it would need a budget of at least $10,000 - $20,000. (I know many of you are thinking we were at Nosedive Central are just rollin’ in the dough with this lucrative endeavor, but we just don’t have that kind of money.)

So, I figured these were questions and problems that I didn’t have to (and shouldn’t have to) worry about now. I’m going to give the script another once-over and find a way to fix it and make it presentable, but for now, I figured it would be best to focus my attention on unraveling smaller Gordian Knots.

So, as you can see, despite putting McTeague on the shelf indefinitely, this month is already shaping up to be a busy one. And I’m not even counting all the stuff we have to do in February and March (i.e., do another fundraising show, find a performance space for Nervous Boy, gather up the directors for the one-acts, get a sandwich).

Keeping his priorities straight,

James “I Asked For Whole Wheat!” Comtois

January 6, 2006


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