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Friday, May 9, 2014

Voices of BTM XVI: Rick Park

Rick Park
The good news: my play got accepted into the Boston Theater Marathon! The bad news: I won’t be in town to see it. I’ll be at a graduation in Tampa. This happened last year too: I got a play in the BTM and had to be at a work conference in Las Vegas (seriously). So I never got to see the magic of Maureen Keiller, Sarah Newhouse and Dorothy Dwyer performing From Your Mouth to God’s Ears directed by Allyn Burrows for Actors' Shakespeare Project (although I was thrilled to hear it at their first rehearsal). And now it is happening again—I will be lucky to see a run thru of The Doppler of My Heart in a rehearsal room. But it’s not just seeing my own plays that I will miss (again) this year. There are so many other things that I always look forward to that I will have to miss again. So here are ten things that I will miss by not being at the Calderwood that Sunday in May:

  1. Being asked to perform in one of the plays. As an actor as well as a writer, I love being able to work on a new play, often with other actors I have never worked with before, in front of the supportive crowd that fills the seats in that theatre.
  2. The excitement leading up to Marathon day. I live a block from the Calderwood and I love seeing all the actors and directors I know buzzing around the neighborhood, going to tech rehearsals, stopping and chatting and getting excited for Sunday.
  3. Walking in on Sunday, supplies in hand (water, candy, a banana), and seeing so many theatre friends inside the Calderwood.
  4. That rush when the lights go down for the first time and we hear the announcement that the BTM is about to begin. Such promise in that announcement!
  5. Watching the stage crew change sets and lights seamlessly into the next play. It really is amazing when you realize how little time they have to get this all down correctly, yet there never seems to be a problem. Kudos to Marc and the stage managers and lighting and sound folks.
  6. The eager chatter between hours, when we have that short little break to run to the bathroom or stretch our legs, where we compare notes on what we just saw and what touched us or delighted us or made us laugh.
  7. Looking to see where Larry and Barry are sitting and wondering how much foodstuff K. Alexa Mavromatis and Patrick Gabridge brought between them.
  8. Seeing that actor you have never seen before light up the stage and make you scramble to your program to find out the answer to “Who IS that?”
  9. Seeing that play (or sometimes plays) where you kick yourself and think “Dang—I wish I had written that!”
  10. Going into the party at 10 p.m. and being able to give Kate Snodgrass a big hug and try to let her know in some little way how much she means to you, to the Marathon and to theatre itself. This woman is unstoppable and we all owe her so much.

So, since I won’t be there, I hope someone will report back to me on some of things I’ll miss. And maybe everyone who reads this and goes to the BTM can give Kate an extra big hug from me.

Don't miss Boston Theater Marathon XVI on May 11! Tickets

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