The Best and the Brightest

Our second weekend started tonight with another really terrific performance and another amazing audience. It was so clear tonight that the actors have settled into these roles, and any opening weekend jitters are gone. The performances were a little more assured, more comfortable tonight.

And after the show we did a talkback with a group of theatre students from around the country who are here for an audition camp at Webster University. They asked some really interesting -- and sometimes really funny -- questions, and everyone in the cast was cool enough to stay and talk with them. One student dubbed Marcy the spellinator. I think that one's going to find its way into New Line's collective lingo.

Since back in high school, and still today, I love a talkback after a show. It's such fun to be able to ask the artists things you'd like to know, to be able to tell them you enjoyed their performances, etc. So when these folks asked if we could do a talkback, I was delighted.

It's also very nice for us to be able to interact with a bunch of strangers who've just seen our show and get a sense of what they took away from it, what they liked about it, what surprised them, what delighted them. The talkback was cool for us as well as (hopefully) for them.

And I have to admit, part of me was extremely glad to be able to expose them to a non-mainstream company, one that is not union but is professional. So many people think there's only union shows and community theatre, but there's a big, vigorous, varied category in the middle, doing alternative work. I'm glad these students got to see not only the work of a company like ours, but also the genuine joy we get out of that work. We don't do this for the money (which is uniformly shitty); we do it because we all really love making good, interesting art and sharing it with an audience. It's the experience, the adventure, not the size of the paycheck.

Long Live the (Alternative) Musical!