Saturday, February 4, 2012

On Why Plays are Awesome

Friday night I got to meet Jim Beaver for a second time. For those of you not aware of this wonderful actor, Jim is known most for his role as Bobby Singer on the CW's Supernatural, and Whitney Ellsworth on HBO's Deadwood. The best part of these meetings (besides meeting Jim, obviously) was the fact that I did not have to pay premium prices to get into a convention. No, instead I went to plays.

A few weeks ago Jim mentioned on his Twitter that he was directing a play reading. It sounded interesting and my friend asked if we wanted to go. I figured, why not? The reading was free, as it was at the stage of not really being a play yet, so that helped. The ability to interact with Jim in a normal setting was a big plus to me, as fandoms tend to drive me crazy.

The reading was for a two act play called A Season for Vivaldi. The audience had the job of writing notes about the play so that the playwright could have a chance to see how we responded to it and take in any criticism we had. The writing and acting at this reading was superb! The play had plenty of wit, humor, and real emotion. Sadly, the playwright recently died (he was 83,) so now there is no word on whether or not this play will ever get made.

After the reading, my husband, my friend, and I waited around and had a chance to talk to Jim about the performances and other such things. Let me tell you, this man is quite the gentleman! He was so nice to us and let me take a photo with him (instead of paying stupid convention prices for a photo op!)

I had so much fun at this event that I could not wait to go to more plays. Then, shortly after the reading, Jim mentioned he would be doing a short run in Madame Butterfly. As soon as I read this I asked my friend if we were going to go, and she immediately responded that we were.

Friday the three of us set off to Glendale to see Madame Butterfly. None of us had ever seen the play or the opera before so we didn't really know what to expect. The theater was very small, maybe forty seats? And the "stage" was pretty much just the floor 2 1/2 feet in front of us in the front row. I was terribly excited by this, as I love to be up close at any show.

Some information on Madame Butterfly: The opera with which we are most familiar (at least by name) is based off a one act play, of which we were to see tonight. The basics of the plot are: A Japanese woman is waiting patiently for the American Naval Lieutenant whom she wed some months before. He had told her that he would return when the robins begin nesting again. We find out that she has had a child with this man and when he does return we discover he has a new, American wife.

All of the actors did a wonderful job. The play was both funny and sad. I, for one, was riveted. After the show we all had a chance to mingle with the actors, and the playhouse provided some snacks in the chip and dip, crackers and cheese range. It is so nice to be reminded that actors are regular people, just like us. We stood and talked with Jim for a while (I think we were among the only people there who had come specifically to see him,) told him how much we enjoyed the performance. Before we left I asked for a second photo, the one from the reading was very dark. Never once did he seem to busy or important not to talk and interact with us.

All in all, these past two play goings made me realize how much I love plays. I used to go fairly often as a child and always had a good time. I want to thank Jim for giving me a reason to go see plays again!

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