Nasze Miasto/OurCity finally built

Nasze Miasto/Our City rehearsal
Nasze Miasto/Our City rehearsal
Summer Olsson

I will be blogging from the deep inside of Tricklock Company's Revolutions International Theatre Festival. I am the Artistic Director of the festival, and the Co-Artistic Director of Tricklock Company. I am also performing in Nasze Miasto/Our City, one of the first shows in the festival- collaboration with the Polish theatre company Teatr Figur Krakow. So, I have a lot of inside scoop. Although most of the inside scoop lately has been in the pitch black dark, trying to manipulate a tiny cardboard object very specifically in front of a light, over and over.

All three shows this first week- (The festival officially started on Tuesday the 12th with a huge party, which I thought was pretty cool. But I'm biased)- are world premieres. Which means that all the visiting artists have been in town already for 3 weeks, and guests and locals alike have been rehearsing long hours everyday. It's not even like we have guests anymore. It's like these four Polish people live here and always have. And when I pass this amazing director from NYC neé Jerusalem I don't quail anymore. I think "there's Moni again".
By the way, the show he directed, "Pollock", opened last night, to a big crowd and an incredible reaction. I didn't actually get to watch it because we were doing a run-through rehearsal of "Nasze Miasto" at the same time. I am definitely watching it tonight though, and am very excited. "Four Interludes" also opened later last night, and, again, I hear from the rest of the company that it went really well. I was really sad to not be able to be there to watch. It's funny because my butt in the chair is not going to help Chad have a better show.

As for "Nasze Miasto"...I think we have something really beautiful and strange. Elsa and Juli just watched a run, and had comments about "breathtaking images" and other very encouraging things. That made me feel good. As a performer, I never know what's it's going to be like. On the other side of the screens, 4 of us are pretty sick and I bet the other 2 aren't far behind. Of course the morning of the premiere is when I wake up with a hugely swollen sore throat, weakness and some kind of brain-eating virus. We've been popping, alternately, Dayquils and throat lozenges. And some fairy-wings homeopathic stuff that I think is for morale more than anyting.

The show is a mixture of shadow theatre, other images with lights, and live actors. The area backstage is littered with all kinds of lighting devices, from flashlights,to cigarette lighters to weird lamps we made. And baskets, and books, and dozens of extension cords, and suitcases, and what seems like two hundred cardboard cutouts of various shapes and sizes. We navigate all of this STUFF in the dark, at top speed. Sometimes it's smooth. Sometimes it's like one of those cartoons where the two guys are fighting but all you see is a rolling cloud of dust with an occasional fist or shoe popping out, except there are 5 guys.

Our cast's call is at 6:30pm. I hear we're sold out tonight. That's amazing, and also makes my chest squeeze my lungs. This is the culmination of a long-desired collaboration that is very meaningful to me. I will add how I think it goes, tomorrow.