He’s waiting at the door when I arrive with the key;
we talk about three days of rain while I unlock.
He hauls out his battered script and studies lines
as I set up. Soon the director arrives, and while
we exchange notes about the rehearsal to come,
the guy stretches slowly in a corner, pacing each
move with slow deliberate breathing. Soon the hall
is giddy with the conversations of people arriving,
but he is off to the side like a shy cousin, head
down, focused on the text. I call the cast to
the set, and start the rehearsal. The guy is
the only one without a script in his hand. We
never have to prompt him nor explain a line;
it is as if he had written the play— no,
as if he had lived the play. Yet he is not locked into
a particular reading of a line: each run through
brings something new and intriguing. Soon, the others
are reaching for his level of commitment. There is
little giddiness at rehearsals: everyone arrives with
a sense of purpose. The production blossoms as
everybody finds a better way to dress the set with
real antiques this time, to spend more time hanging
electrics for best moonlight, to adjust the sound effects
so you can smell the chickens and feel the rain; and you
will care enough shed a tear when Melanie dies at the end.
After the play closes, the guy goes back to his job at the
gas station, and waits patiently for the next audition.

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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