By Anne Keefe
I’ve found one of the joys of getting older is my relatively new ability to embrace risk. And WOW - is it liberating! After 15 years of not stage managing, I have been offered the opportunity to be the assistant stage manager on The Year of Magical Thinking. Instead of being the boss, I will work for an accomplished man who is half my age, with an actress I know and admire and a director whose work is consistently brilliant. I’m sure it will be like riding a bicycle, and yet I’m trepidatious.
Still. The project is too exciting to pass up. Of course I have read Joan Didion’s stunning novel, and even if I hadn’t, I would have as part of my preparation for working on the production. What is exciting to me will be seeing the words come to life as interpreted by Maureen Anderman, and knowing that her take on it will be her own, unlike anyone else’s who has done the role in theatres all over the world. It will be informed by her life experiences, and Nicholas Martin’s (director) suggestions for heightening Ms. Didion’s observations of the event which faces all of us.
And each audience member, sitting in the dark with hundreds of different people will have his or her own response to what they have seen on our stage, because while reading a novel is a static experience, a play is a live, breathing, shared experience. This will be a play worth talking about in the parking lot after!
I cannot wait to be sitting in the dark backstage every night for the run. I’m excited to think of our audience sitting in the dark experiencing this extraordinarily touching, magical piece. I hope you will embrace the opportunity as I have!