Thursday, February 03, 2005

Notes from the Bottletree

Last night I was invited to take part in a table-reading of Addae Moon's “Notes from the Bottletree”. About a year ago a good friend of mine, Ayodele, told me one of his friends had written this new piece that was premeiring at the Horizon Theatre in Atlanta, and that he loved it. That play was “Notes…” The author, Addae, and I had met via internet (we're on the same listserv) spoken on several occasions about different things, but we'd never really talked about his play, so last night was the first time I had the opportunity to read it. It was a beautiful piece of work. The play deals with the struggles of being an artist, familial history, and how some parts of your past you can't escape, it's mixed in with the genetic material in your blood. All of these issues come to surface in a play with language that has a heightened scene of poetics and at the same time is authentic in it's voice, steeped in dirty-south phonetics.

Ian Mairs a playwright that lives in Jacksonville put together the read, with an eye to do a staged reading. Ian is just what this community needs. I hoping he and I could forge an alliance to help bring theatre to Jacksonville, and he has been very open to it. Ian and I are as opposite in some ways, he went to school for playwriting, he teaches it, he's had several plays produced and published, and is very much connected in the local theatre scene. Where as I am somewhat an outsider. Most of the local theatre people have no idea who I am, which is cool with me. From the beginning I wanted my art to be about reach out to those who have not seen a lot of theatrical work. But that idea has matured into wanting everyone, theatre people and non traditional audiences to be drawn back to the theater. In that I think Ian and I have the same vision, so for him to ask me to read it was an honor. It's like the other side of the theater aisle is reaching out.

Initally I was scared to death to do the table read. Primarily because I am dyslexic. If you've been reading this blog, you probably already noticed. I hate reading in public. But Addae's work was so fluid, and the words felt like they were the same I would use in the given situation, after the first five pages, I was able to relax, and try to work. The other actors and I had great chemistry, and the director is someone I've known about but never had the chance to work with, and then there's Valerie the stage manager. Val's great and probably the only reason I got through MacBeth two years ago, it's a pleasure to work with her. So if you can, look up Addae Moon's “Notes from the Bottletree” this is a playwright to keep your eye on.

1 comment:

Richard Reep said...

Al, Keep speaking from the heart with passion. If you tour Central Florida, come to Winter Park and do a poetry slam at Stardust Coffee House sometime. Bring Val the stage manager!