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Monday, October 4, 2010


Laundry. Think about it. It has got to be done, whether we're in the theatre or not, and I have to say I've learned more about polyester, cotton, and silk from picking up the slack in theatre laundry duties than my mother ever taught me.

How do you get fake blood out of a shirt? I can tell you. Better yet, I can SHOW you. Answer: You spray the blood stain with Oxy-Clean, let it stand, then you wash that off with cold water and soak the shirt in bleach. If all else fails, you buy another shirt.

What do you do when a dress has to be dry cleaned, and you have 8 hours to do it? Answer: You don't dry clean it (you can't--no dry cleaning shop will get it back to you on time), you spray it with Dryel. If that fails, you spray it with vodka and hope for the best. (Vodka is good for so many things in the theatre.)

What do you do when the theatre has no washer/dryer in which to do the laundry on a nightly basis during a performance? (This happens to be the case at BPT.) Answer: First, you try your best to get someone else to do it. Believe me, there are many excuses for not doing the laundry--"Sorry, I don't live near a laundromat"; "Sorry, I'm not coming in tomorrow"; "Sorry, my dog ate my washer/dryer." If all else fails, you take the laundry home overnight and bring it back to the next performance. Why? Because you love the actors! At the very least they deserve a clean shirt to wear tomorrow. I love this 5Down, 1Across cast and crew, so when they need my expert laundry skills, I'm there for them. Yes, I'm an Artistic Director, and yes, I can wash clothes, and yes, I'm good at it.

If you hate the thought of an Artistic Director washing out the actors' dirty laundry, get over it! (There are no small jobs, only small artistic directors.) Or you can buy us a stackable washer/dryer. We'll name them after you. We'll put up a plaque. "Donated by Fill-In-Your-Name, a kind and generous person who couldn't stand the thought of Kate doing laundry." Or something like that.

In either case, I'm happy. In some small way, I've helped. And the world is better.

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