Dear Kitty 2.0,
Yesterday was our first official two-show day and it was sort of a doozy. We had a 2PM matinee, then I went to a local Barnes & Noble to read some selections from the diary and chat a bit, and then we had show number two at 8. Although I didn’t have much time to chill between the shows, it was nice to connect with some audience members and people in the community who were interested in our production.
The overwhelming response that I’ve heard from those who have seen the show is one of mild apology mixed with reverence; everyone who has come up to me has said “We wanted to stand up at curtain call,” or “we wanted to clap but we couldn’t, because we were so upset and moved.” It’s a rare gift to be able to talk to the audience afterwards-- as I’ve said, often as an actor you can feel as if you’re not making an impact on an audience and then other times there’s a clear and palpable sense of energy in the house and you know that they’re listening acutely. But in this production, even our friends and family have found it hard to make post-show small-talk because the play, as one visitor said, “destroyed” him.
Anyways. The talk at B & N went well and I was so pleased to hear that we were making an impact on our audiences. As I told them, I’m happy to answer any additional questions, or if you’ve got questions for other cast members, I’ll pass ‘em along.
Oh! I have to tell you something else. Regarding audiences. We (the
actors) can hear you! Most people who talk to the television are able to curb the urge when they’re at a play, but some find this more difficult. Felicity and I heard a really fantastically hilarious comment the other night. Right after Anne has her nightmare, her mother runs into the room to comfort her. In the scene, once I come to my senses and realize it’s my mother, I brusquely tell her “I’d rather you didn’t [stay with me]” and ask her to send my father in instead. This scene, which is taken from a couple of moments in the diary, is in the play to illustrate Anne’s very strained relationship with her mother, and vice-versa.
Right after Felicity kisses me on the head and turns to leave the room, a very loud whisperer in the front row exclaimed with disdain, “What a HORRIBLE child!”
I first had to stifle a response, and there obviously was no knowing if Felicity had also caught this little gem of a comment, but I found that my reaction was close to how Anne must’ve felt in the Annex. I wanted to turn to her and go, “Listen, lady-- You don’t know the half of it!” and defend myself. What did she know, anyway?! But I had to continue on with the scene. Felicity, who had in fact heard it, said that it was great to listen to the next scene in which Anne is able to defend herself and voice her feelings to her father; she said there was some real fuel under it!