Friday, September 14, 2012

"Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday" premieres at HotCity!

I spent a wonderful weekend out in St. Louis, helping my director Bill Whitaker, my fantastic cast, and all the nice folks at HotCity Theater celebrate opening weekend of the world premiere of my play "Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday."

"Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday" is about a young woman named Lynn who decides to leave her whole life behind, to become a commercial fisher in Alaska -- and about her family, who decides that they'll do absolutely anything to keep her from leaving.  It was a finalist for HotCity's Greenhouse Festival last year, and the company selected it for full production.

The Hallaby family -- Margie and Lynn and Kelly and Hudson.
Lynn and Margie.
Lynn and Kelly.
Hair brush and duct tape.
"I hate Alaska."
"Don't leave."
"You want to fish?  We'll fish!"
Ray and Lynn.
The play is just receiving its debut... but it was actually the first real play I ever wrote.  Before "Infinite Black Suitcase," and "Heads," and "Song of Extinction."  Like those plays, it's personal.  (Is it possible to write a full-length play without including a slice or two of your soul?)  Watching it play out on the stage was like stepping back into a turning point in my own life.  It's not a true story or anything.  But... I might have entertained notions of flight at one point myself.  And Alaska is a beautiful place for people who are running away from everything to imagine themselves going.

"Going.  I'm going.  I love you.  But I'm going."
In the end, my character went one way; I went another.  I stayed; she goes.  It's hard to watch the play without wondering if everything might not have turned out differently if...

But I don't get to step back in time and change things.  Just peek in the window, remember, laugh a little, cry a little, and appreciate the talented people -- actors, designers, director, producers, stage manager -- who have worked so hard to bring this play to life.

The whole family.  Lynn and Ray, Gary and Kelly, Hudson and Margie.
Endings and beginnings.

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