In many ways, EXPOSED and RADIO HOUR: LAVENDER & EXILE could not be more different: one is a shattering work on the horrors of nuclear testing, the other is a collection of ghost stories, fake ads, and silly jingles. It’s certainly a shift to go from Opening Night of a truly important political statement to beginning rehearsals of pure fun within a space of about 14 hours. In addition, I’ve gone from a world of acting with which I’m familiar to the life of a Foley Artist, confronted by a table full of bits, bobs and bobbins all supposed to create audio illusions. Radio theatre is very technical, which means the rehearsal process is very different. Teri described “Hell Week” last week, and while you ramp up to that in theatre, that’s where you start off in radio.
As far apart as these experiences seem to be, it’s what ties them together that keeps my energy up through this weekend when I’ll be spending most of my waking hours either rehearsing or performing. Though wildly different, both EXPOSED and RADIO HOUR: LAVENDER & EXILE are local stories being told by local playwrights, and that couldn’t make me happier. It’s too easy to think that theatre happens elsewhere, and we simply import and consume it. It’s energizing to create new works of art and that doesn’t need to be restricted to actors in coastal locales.
There’s no doubt that this crossover is going to be tiring, but the rewards of making new theatre that no one’s ever seen or heard before make up for it. I can always sleep in November.