Friday, June 26, 2009

The End ... Again

This weekend marks the second closing of The Bluest Water: A Hurricane Camille Story. A little less than a year ago, this very same cast bid farewell to this special series of characters it had originated for this amazing piece of historical fiction. But even by that time, word of the possibility of a revival in this summer's festival had begun to spread, so those of us who expected we might be available again this year (and as it turns out, we all were!) already had that to look forward to ... it wasn't 'goodbye' so much as 'until next time'.

I suppose I'm slightly repeating myself from the quote I provided for a recent earlier post, but it is very true for me that this year, despite the rapidity with which this production has come and gone, there is a much more real sense of finality. As a result, it is certainly even more bittersweet than last year. Oh, the show may eventually be back again (... the 45th anniversary of Camille? The 50th? A published script, Jason???) But that remains to be seen. However, for this particular collection of people involved, this is it. We have been very fortunate to 'catch lightning in a bottle' a second time, and just like lightning, it seems to be gone almost as quickly as it arrived, before we even really could recognize and take in what we had (a theme touched upon in both Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream, I might add!).

The production was not truly rushed by any means, of course; even last summer's premiere followed a couple years of conceptualization and research. Remounting this production required everything from coordination of new schedules to the meticulous storage and re-assembly of the scenery, most of which was comprised of the same pieces as last year.

But for me, it feels as though it has come and gone in a blitz. The production has changed a bit between its first and second staged iterations, but the heart is the same. While we have not experienced the same number of packed-house, sold-out shows this year, the appreciation of our audiences has been expectedly strong nonetheless, and new stories from survivors and other locals have been brought to us yet again by those who seek us out after the end of the performance each night (certainly one of the most powerful aspects of this production for us, its cast and crew).

The Bluest Water's sunset is fast approaching. We make way for the other two productions in this summer's festival, A Midsummer Night's Dream and My Brother's Knife, who almost literally wait in the wings. Even though attention will soon be shifting, and even though what is considered "the main event" is still to come, those of us who have been a part of The Bluest Water not once but twice are very fortunate in what we've shared ... with each other, with our audiences, with our friends and family, with our community.

This summer's experience perhaps hasn't quite had the fanfare of the last, but I'm certainly glad I came back. Seeing and working with everyone again was truly incredible, and perhaps the 'bitterest' part of the 'bittersweetness' inherent in how fast this has gone by is that we have to part ways again already ... this time (as far as this particular production is concerned) most likely for good. But we can be proud of a job once again well done.

So to my fellow Nelson pioneers (Tanya, Ken, Sally, Casey, David, Thomas, Derek, Koda, Michael, Natalie, Paul, and Wanda) and our brave guides (Geoff, Jason, Krista, Maria, Bryce, Dan, Drew, Ash, and others!), I offer a hearty congrats on another successful run ... and as of the time of this post (even with two shows still remaining!), I miss you all already!!

We have something special in this show that, like the landscapes of Nelson County, will live on. This story, whether in the form of its script, the archive to be maintained by the Nelson County Historical Society, or merely the impressions/memories it has left in all of us, will continue to touch others long after we close for good on Sunday. With or without us, "the saga continues ... "

It's been quite a ride.

Cheers all,

Jared M Anderson
Endstation Blogger and The Bluest Water cast member

Actors Natalie Caruncho, Thomas Bell, Koda Kurl, and J. David Settle wait (quietly!)
backstage to enter for the show's final ensemble dialogue and parting moments.