Who is Taphouse? …two Chelseas, one (former) whore cat, eighteen square yards of tattoos, four married couples…
We begin again, in the clutches of TPS on the sunniest day of 2015 (but I hate talking about the weather). Something is different here, different about today though. I’ve grown accustomed to the maybe ten of us huddled in bar basements talking lights and sets and conceptual rigmarole.
This time there are actors. Mostly the whole cast met for the first time today to read through the latest draft of Kiki Penoyer’s Taphouse. I’m writing while they read. They don’t think I’m rude. I hope.
After a round of introductions and general celebration, we set to the latest draft of Taphouse, pasted together and sharpened just five days ago.
Who is Taphouse? …a puritanical old Babushka, the King’s Hand, new friends, foot sweat, the undoable doer….
The first read of anything is rarely fun. This is an important ritual in any production, you gather, you meet, you awkwardly try to impress each other with the names of your friends, you drag yourself through the script. The first read of Taphouse is actually fun.
And here is why: implicit in the mission, vision, values of Copious Love Productions is just that… love and camaraderie and laughing around the table about our favorite cocktails. Chelsea, Lacy, and Tony (among so many others) have worked to cultivate a safe, collaborative space wherein a love of text and of the craft take precedence over any amount of ego.
It has been such a joy to be invited in to the CLP world and up until now I thought I knew what that really meant. It means laughing fullbodied around the table, it means writing love letters to the text with each line reading, it means eye contact and gentle smirks and openness.
That doesn’t happen a lot at the first read of anything, reading is hard. Really. Pulling words off a page you’ve barely seen and giving them any amount of life? Oof… that being said, I applaud the efforts of FEARLESS DIRECTING TEAM JENN AND CADY in assembling such a bunch of smart, talented humans.
Who is Taphouse? …maybe two football fans, a sea of side smiles, a teacher, a bartender (full of BS), a vulgar raging queen…
The first read of Taphouse was imbued with pledges to perfectly invite our audience (you) into this world. If you have been following this blog, you know how hard the entire production and creative teams have been working on this project since CLP chose the script for its season (…August, I think).
If this evening was any indication of the level of work, openness, and laughter these actors will commit to the rehearsal process over the next few weeks, than this show is everything you have been looking for.
Who is Taphouse? …a bunch of sweaty (new) best friends pitched against the hellacious death-wind of existence.
I resist the idea that this is schmaltzy, overly-sentimental. This is about love though, so I suppose it’s inevitable. CLP is about love.
In the words of our playwright, “Enough with the mushy stuff, let’s drink!”
READ AS: Dedicate ourselves to a calculated and expert presentation of Taphouse.
And then, in the words of our intrepid and indefatigable Stage Manager, “Girl, we’ll glow together!”