Monday, June 29, 2009
Dear Mom and Dad,
I’m sorry I didn’t write to you last week but it has been really getting crazy around here. I’ll be in front of an audience in less than two weeks!! SO I can’t talk for long but I wanted to tell you a little bit about my costars. Which is quite an undertaking since somehow or another Endstation was able to afford a cast of HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS!
19,000 Carpenter Ants: Hardworking and very strong for their size these guys go about repairing the exposed earth and grass we thrash about on our hillside “stage.” We also get a healthy bite on the bum should we miss a cue. (In the above photo our Peter Quince, Tommy, is getting a healthy gnaw on his left cheek for coming in too early into a scene.)
1000 Fireflies: Beautiful but often difficult to work with, these beetles were hired to flit to and fro during the “Lovers” scenes once they’ve entered "The Wood." Their gorgeous blinking was to mirror the explosions that happen in the play with the colliding of worlds. But because of a misunderstanding with Insect Equity, they are only in rehearsal and in the show from 7:30 to 8:15pm. Ryan, our director, was very upset with this but there was nothing we could do. So we hired gnats to pick up the slack. They’re there from 5:00pm to midnight. Everyday.
54,000 Gnats: Though they don’t give off their own light, their very shiny bodies do reflect it brilliantly. Though not very smart (a few dozen die in the sweat on my face and at least one dies up my nose every night) these guys are very effective at reminding the audience that they are not in a comfortable, air-conditioned auditorium with cushioned seats but outside on the ground exposed to the elements and to musky Nature herself.
7 Deer Interns: Originally hired to be the mounts the fairies ride on stage, Ryan decided to instead have them come on and interact with Hermia and Helena when they are “lost in the woods” in-between scenes. (One of the more ornery deer keeps bragging about how he almost got a casting internship at Steppenwolf.)
13 Squirrels: These nimble acrobats perform in the canopy the trees form above most of our “stage.” They randomly toss down fruit at the actors and audience during the performance and are part of Titania’s minions when she chides with Oberon.
Well that’s pretty much everybody I have time for this week. I hope to have a full cast picture when I write to you next week. If I can find a wide enough lens!