DI ESPERIENZA – Kirt Bateman

‘Nothing goes more swiftly than the years.’  That’s a quote from Leonardo Da Vinci and a line in DI ESPERIENZA. Now it’s the title of my brilliant blog entry.

I have had the pleasure of acting in Matt’s short pieces in every single SLAM I’ve acted in and done a reading of his play Y&Y, so I thought I’d know what to expect. It seems like yesterday that we were sitting in the Black Box workshopping a brand new play, DI ESPERIENZA, by the stunningly talented young chap, Matthew Ivan Bennett. I had been asked to read Judas (and the other characters that come along with him). During the rehearsals for the reading, I experienced constant doubt about my ability to play the role…I mean constant! That’s the point of the character of Judas – he serves as the antagonist to good ol’ Leo, ‘malice, panic, self-doubt.’ So, I should have been perfect. Alas I did not feel so. Nevertheless, by the end of the workshop, I wanted to play the role so badly I could hardly stand it.

I have been very, VERY fortunate to be in several amazing Plan-B shows..but at the end of each, I think that it will most likely be my last (‘Soon, they’re going to catch on to me and realize that I have no idea what I’m doing and that I’m a complete hack’). So, here was yet another opportunity to muck up something beautiful.

We opened this weekend. It was scary and exhilarating. In this amazing Canadian TV series (p.s. I love Toronto) SLINGS & ARROWS, the director of HAMLET says to his actors (and I paraphrase here), ‘Actors are one of the most needy of the art disciplines. They need the playwright for words. They need the director for vision and staging and character work. They need the costumer for non-nakedness. They need a stage manager for everything. They need the designers. They need their fellow actors to play off of and with. They need an audience to watch them. They need a stage to play on.’ Well, you get the picture. I say this, because this is most evident in the brilliant people working on this play.

To me, Matt’s words are poetry; Jerry’s direction is everything; Michael’s Leo is strong and so fun to kick around; Tracie’s La Gioconda is beautiful and heart-breaking; Teresa’s Isabella is so finely tuned, it could be a grand piano; Cheryl’s sound is breathtaking; Jann’s costumes are each a work of art; Randy’s set follows no rules and brings us together in a piazza every night; Cory’s book is beautiful; Jesse’s lighting is gorgeous…I could go on and on…I am rambling. I just feel so damn lucky to be side-by-side with all of these amazing people. We have come together to create a vital work. I don’t see it…but that’s how it feels. I’m very, very lucky.

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