AACT Festival Day 2 (Thurs, Jun 26 Morning)
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Oh, forgot to mention something yesterday. Somehow I didn’t notice it when I first checked in (but then I was just in the room for two minutes to drop off my bags), but despite being in the dirt cheap Days Inn, I apparently got the honeymoon suite, because it has a heart-shaped jazucci.
Anyway, I awoke this morning at 8:10. This was on some concern as the morning sessions start at 8:45. OK, taking a train into Manhattan every day conditions you to get showered and dressed very quickly, but it means that I’d have to skip breakfast. Since I’d skipped breakfast & lunch the day before, missed dinner while fighting traffic on the drive up, and pretty much only ate the cheese and crackers at the reception after the shows last night, this did not please me.
Anyway, I rushed through, found a parking space directly across from the theater (2 hour limit on the meter), and found my way to the first workshop.
In the mornings at festivals, they have workshops on topics of interest to community theaters. Topics included such things as “Props on a Budget”, “In-Kind Contributions”, “Stage Combat”, and “Volunteer Recruitment, Retention and Recognition”. I attended an excellent one on “Fun Fundraising Facts for Fun & Fortune”. There is also a sponsor exhibit where many theater oriented companies (most play licensing co: Sam French & MTI et al) had tables, and a silent auction. There was a very odd collection of item there. MTI donated several cast album CDs. Each item had an estimated value listed, and there was a number of autographed photos of celebrities, which led to some interesting values cited for the various photo (“Tiffany-Amber Thessin: Priceless”, “Joan Rivers: $10”).
The workshop ended for the day at 11:30, and I went across the street to get my first real meal in some time. (hint: When in a restaurant named “Yankee Peddler” in Connecticut do not order the pasta). (Update: Since I’ve noticed that some people are arriving here by Google “Yankee Peddler“, I should point out that I wasn’t make a specific reference to the food at that particular restaurant, but just that when one is in New England at a place trading on it’s American heritage, perhaps ordering an ethnic meal is not the best idea)
The first show of the day was a Christopher Durang piece called “Wanda’s Visit”, performed by the Terrace Playhouse which is based at a US Army base in Ansbach, Germany (all of region 10 is made up of oversea military bases). The story itself was typical Durang (reading the casts’ bios it seems this group does a lot of Durang). The actress playing Wanda chewed the scenery (that might actually have been the stage direction), but the other two actor kinda got swallowed up in it.
The second piece was “Three Viewing” by Jeffrey Hatcher, or to be exact, two of the three viewings (that darn one hour limit, remember), performed by the Bas Bleu Theater company of Colorado. (For those familiar with the play, it was the two women). The play is made up of three acts, each with just one actor doing a monologue. Both actresses did wonderful jobs (and the adjudicators like it as well).