Acts of Desperation, the premier production of The Relevant Stage (TRS) came and went too quickly. I had joined the cast just 25 days prior to opening. We hardly had time to bond as a unit, but we did. We became a tightly knit ensemble, delivered our important, thoughtful message over 4 days and are now moving on.
One of the more interesting aspects of this production was the variation in the audiences. Two of the 6 performances were matinees for middle and high school students; about 1,000 teenagers saw this production focusing on the issues of bullying and school shootings. They were uninhibited, wonderfully reactive audiences. They were rarely quiet and laughed at times some would consider inappropriate. But I suspect that was because they were thinking about the harsh realities of their own lives that were being depicted on the stage and screen. Most of their questions after the performances suggested how the show affected them in the moment.
The evening performances and Sunday matinee were played to primarily adult audiences and their reaction was more of thoughtful silence. This was not a production designed to entertain the paying customers; it challenged them to think hard about what they could do to make the world our children grow up in a safer place. Unfortunately, I am told, there were a handful of patrons who walked out early in the first act when they realized that this was not a light, entertaining production. But, if the conversations at the opening night reception are an indication, Acts of Desperation succeeded in its goal to bring about thoughtful discussion and contemplation of what can be done.
At this point, I have few pictures to offer. There is just one of my "blatant self-promotion" shots, taken of Grandpa (aka The Ancient One) as one of his video monologues was running.
Below is a photo of a number of the cast members at a nearby restaurant between Friday's 2 performances. (It was taken on TRS Artistic Director Ray Buffer's camera by a very helpful waitress.)
(L to R): Ray Buffer, Rita Merrson, Adam Roa, Victor Kelso, Roberta McMillan, Karina Farah, Randa Walker, Jeanette Stojcevski, The Ancient One. (Not present) Lucas Pakes (Director), Sean McElhone. Tristan Nieto, CJ Archuleta
And one last picture (courtesy of Ray Buffer as is the photo at the top of the post), offered up for fans of art deco architecture; a view of the Warner Grand Theatre's exterior.
So, now on to getting caught up on sleep and moving on. It was a great, albeit too short, experience. I might so one more photo post if pictures become available.