The doors close. A speech is made. Cell phones are left for once ignored- The lights dim. Stage time. We know how we start. The lights come up on the now of a moment. Actors intent on conveying story- they wear the costumes of another person, wigs and too much make up. We hear lines that have been rehearsed to the consonant, their meaning flooded with human experience, a look between actors, a cross downstage, the lights go down, and the scene fades from view- the players change and a new scene begins. Lights up.
But what if it wasn’t? What if a play, a theatrical piece of living art could be something more.
Today I begin a journey to reinvent myself through theater, with Copious Loves first day of rehearsals for the reviving of Alice’s Anthem, a journey parallel to Alice in Wonderland but with an undeniable difference in the story telling. I’m directing. And for the first time in what seems like years I feel- awake. Alive. Alive in live Theater.
I was told by Felix Cochren, my Design teacher at college in Syracuse that “Theater isn’t church” and that I had to develop a life outside of theater to truly have stories to tell. Some Dawson’s Creek Bullshit. Bah! I said- I immediately rejected the idea- surely one does not become more adept at ones craft by denying oneself of the one thing one does, does one?
I am at a turning point in my life that has coincided with Copious Love seeking me out and thrusting. This. Amazing. Script. Into my hands- and saying “go”/ I went. I traveled. I sought a connection with my present and the world that I live in, I have put everything I have ever wanted into theater, and when the curtain goes down closing night; its over. We strike the set, we put it away, we have production photos and that one weird prop we bartered with the company at closing- but theater is a temporary, regenerative art form. And for this production, that temporary amount of time is going to be filled, with the entirety of my experiences. With the death of my best friend, with the isolation of winter in Utah, diamond mining, getting married- to the same person- at several different instances. Making our vows in the presence of Lady Gaga, embracing hot glue and duct tape not just as quick fixes for costume or prop fabrication, but as the stars of my life story in theater. Alice’s Anthem is my Thesis. It is human experience. It is unblocked. It is constantly echoing and reiterating the message we already hear ourselves reiterating in the mirror “You are okay”.
I am inviting everyone I know; loved ones, frenemies, acquaintances from the bar- to come and experience what I can only describe as the other side of theater’s looking glass. And assuredly one of, if not the single best script, cast crew and writing team (and intuitive editor) that I’ve had the opportunity to work with in my 29 years. This show is, as their company name is titled; Copious Love. I am Copious Love. And I invite you to take part in our Copious Love Fest, and be a part of Alice’s Anthem.
By Brendan Mack, Director and Copious Love SuperFan