It was a long journey of writing....on trains, in two different apartments, a basement office, and a Hawaiin hotel room. There were multiple versions and titles, extensive edits, and long conversations to get the script to its final form.
Upon walking into the first rehearsal, Laura, our director, gives each of the actors a colored folder.
First Woman Red.
Second Woman Yellow.
Third Woman Purple.
If a color could sum you up, which would it be? If a type of animal embodied you, what would you choose? I decided the Second Woman is a colorful fish.
Skip ahead, past multiple individual and group rehearsals, MORE late night conversations, and an unmeasurable amount of stress, excitement, and questioning. Sitting on stage listening to your own words being performed causes an interesting bunch of sensations.
One. You already have all the emotions that come along with the act of performing.
Two. You want to run and hide, because nothing can prepare you for having your personal secrets exposed to an audience (whether they know they are yours or not).
Three. You feel undeniably grateful that these artists have agreed to make your words come to life. That they have the courage to produce, direct, and perform something that is made up of your life. They have chosen to make a part of you THEIR art, and therefore their LIFE as well.
I will always remember walking off stage with my brave cast mates and embracing both of them in the dark behind the stage. I am not sure where A Shared Name will go next, but my duende and artist still possess me, and future creation is inevitable.
(Enjoy these production photos taken by Stephanie Warren.)
At the end of this amazing process I must thank a few very special people for helping along the way.
First and Foremost to Laura Aristovulos. This is her piece as much as mine and NONE of it would have been possible with out her patience, commitment, and vision. Thank you for believing in and inspiring me to create.
To Emily Goodell and Christiana Blain for lending your sensitivity and talents.
To THEATER IN ASYLUM for trusting in our ability to create a piece of art worth producing. Special thanks to Katie Palmer for taking the lead on The DUENDE Project and making sure A Shared Name had the support it needed to come together.
To Peggy and Bill for allowing us to occupy their apartment as a rehearsal space.
And finally, to the countless family members, friends, and co-workers who acted as sounding-boards, cheer leaders, audience members, and sources of unlimited strength. Thank you.