Sunday, September 18, 2011

Maybe everything lasts...

Tonight was the final performance in this run of "Waiting for Giovanni" at the New Conservatory Theatre Center. It was a bitter sweet afternoon to watch the 24th show and see how each of the actors had settled into their roles, to remember all of the paths we took, thinking about who James Baldwin really might have been,who his literary colleagues were and what their legacy to us is.
The humanity that Baldwin believed in is the humanity that the actors of wildly varied backgrounds bring to a theatre project. They come together, read material that may or may not have immediate meaning for them and the. They study,rehearse, open themselves, find new ways, learn new things and dredge up old. All in service to words some one else wrote.
I missed only three rehearsals in the seven weeks of rehearsal and did not miss any of the performances

Yes I am obsessed with listening to my own words...of course...that's why so many people go to therapy...just kidding. But mostly it was because I was mesmerized by the actors and the team they created back stage and on stage. Each night they inhabited the characters and mad the ideas about humanity and love that James Baldwin preached about come alive.

Now this phase of the W4G project is complete I will take the vision of this production back to my computer, do a little nip & tuck to make it tighter and honor Baldwin and the cast who helped brought him to the stage and back into the minds of many who' forgotten what a genius he was. I'll start bugging my collaborator, Harry Waters Jr again to help me thong my way through re-writes then we' star looking for another theatre to bring it alive again.
Several characters say in W4G: "Nothing lasts forever."
Giovanni's response is: "Maybe everything lasts. We just can't be around to see it."

I plan for W4G to last forever and I want a lot of us to be around to see it again more than once. Next week I'll post some excerpts from the script as I'm editing and keep you up on the news about where the show might go next.


  1. I truly can't think of anything more exciting for a writer than to have a play about one of their writer-heroes staged. (I would be mesmerized by my own words also if I were in that enviable situation!) The fact that your writer-hero is Baldwin (one of my absolute heroes also) makes the thought of this wonderful new play being in the world all the more exciting...

    I am so happy and excited for you, Jewelle: proud to have "known you when..." and hoping the play will make it to the East Coast sometime I can see IT and I can see YOU again!

    Congratulations, and all best to you from Silver Spring...I'm looking forward to reading that script just as soon as it is available!

    Janet Hulstrand

  2. Thanks Janet! I'm snipping at it now and hope to send around soon. You'll know for sure! Thanks for your kind words it's such a cold cruel world out there :>