The Journey has Taken Wings!
"Brint" & "Kaycee" go on a first date
Petra & Amy Jam Away!
"Deke" & "Brint" drinking as always
"Meg" & "Brint" share their past
Petra Ven De Hey as Kaycee:
It's quite an endeavor to be given a script, asked for opinions and then eventually asked to consider it for production as well as be the director. It's been one full of surprises for sure.
These past two weeks, I've had the pleasure of getting to know Jesse Janzen, our leading man, meet with Dylan Ballestero, our lighting designer and technician for the show, and delve into the script really completely for the first time in weeks. In that delving I'm come to see why I've heard it said a writer doesn't always know what their own story is truly about. So the exploration, the work by the team you put together is key in finding the truth of what it all means. We're well on our way.
Jesse has brought wonderful insight into the character of Brint, the roughneck consumed with guilt and regret over the simplicity of a choice he made that led to disaster. A seemingly innocent and rather innocuous moment that led to a spiral into a bottle to find a way to deal with the cost of his actions. Jesse has played with the role in so many wonderful ways which has given me a path to see who Brint really needs to be for you, our audience, and ultimately for himself. After a long car ride out to Petra's ranch near Plymouth area, I learned that this show had fallen into his lap at a time where just such exploration has been exactly what he's needed.
Petra Van De Hey has continued to delight and surprise, as would her character of Kaycee. We spent a magical few hours with the ever talented Amy Kelly working on music Kaycee sings in the show, as well as taking a drive out to Petra's ranch to ride horses, meet her menagerie of dogs and horses and chickens and hummingbirds, oh my! Petra brings a joy but also toughness to the character that grounds us in the story of new love between Kaycee and Brint. Petra has loved the challenge of bringing out her girly side, as she's a stunt woman herself. Tough, tomboyish but also sweet and kind. These traits are what make her so right for the role.
It was really wonderful to also spend time with both Lonon Smith and Mallory Monachino, who round out the cast as old timer and hardened roughneck Deke, and Meg, Brint's ex-girlfriend who has a vested interest still in Brint's future.
Lonon brings such pathos and humor and deep understanding to the role of Deke. It's a role he commented has been the best of his life. It's one he's just so well suited for. He brings his knowledge of men like Brint from his own past to the forefront. The relationship between Deke and Brint is complex, rich and often very painful. These two men have connected though, and we see how that pain is also love.
Lastly, but certainly not least, is Mallory who portrays the constant source of stability in Brint's life: Meg. She's probably the one character in this play that has a true sense of self. Mallory brings that out with grace and strength and such heart. She has commented how refreshing it is to play a role where she isn't the snotty English girl.
Something I've really thought on these last weeks is how often we fellow artists watch the work of others and decide what's good and what isn't and how we'd do it differently or better. I the end, my hope is that we simply go see a show, sit back and take the ride, whatever it is and shut that critical voice out. There is so much to take away from the work we all do. And new work is so up for grabs, for real criticism. Lately, all I've seen on the news is about politics and hate and I'm tired of it. If you are too, this play is a true break from all that, taking you into a world we know so little about as well as reminds us there love in many many forms.
What you take away from the show, well, that's up to you and I look forward to seeing each of you enjoy it! We Open September 16th - 8pm at the Ooley Theatre: 2007 28th St. in midtown Sacramento. To get your tickets go to: www.emhpros.weebly.com.