New photo and new reviews…

Dana in Machine 6259

Review at NYTheatre.com

Playwright Anne Phelan’s blog

Patrick Lee’s review at Show Showdown

Thanks to EVERYONE involved in this show for giving it their brilliant best!

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Watch out for this woman…

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Dana Berger is something else! Her passion and commitment was absolutely stirring last night. And she has found nuance in these characters that I could never write. It’s similar to the way a violinist finesses a strain of music. A composer could never scribe that kind of inflection. It’s really something else.

Do yourself a favor and come check this girl out.

Tickets for “WASHING MACHINE” are available at www.theatremania.com

One preview down…opening Monday…

Everyone’s scrambling around – doing their brilliant best to get everything in order to open this little show (thank you ALL – You’re all Mike and my Brilliant Best!).

Watching the first preview last night…it’s strange to realize – with all the ado and all the dragging of lights and sound equipment and set pieces about the white floor – it’s a tiny little show about a tiny little moment that effected so many people. It’s galvanizing when I think about it.

I went back to the Post article that started the whole process and was struck again at how someone as small and – in the grand scale of the universe…at first glance at least – fairly inconsequential made such a huge impact at the moment of her death.

We just don’t seem to appreciate what we have or what it means until it’s removed. Living in the city – I certainly find myself facing the terrifying notion that people don’t really matter to you until they’re on your doorstep or in your closed circle.

And here was a small town where a child’s death MATTERED! Painfully mattered! Changed the face of the town!

And I was struck by the mystery again. What the hell happened??? What caused this? Why her? Why now? Why in that place? What about that place brought about that tragedy? What was it about that unique collection of people that brought about this horrible thing?

It’s cliche…but I wrote the damn thing because I didn’t know and had to find out. I was sort of brought into this project – a sort of hired hand – but by the time the final draft came off the press – I was writing this thing totally for myself. To figure out why and how something like that could happen.

Because – in the midst of all the theatrical hocus pocus…it’s all boiled down to a five-year-old girl in the most desperate moment a human being can have. How would any of us as adults handle that? How does a child handle something like that?

I wrote this to find out.

And it all has begun…official opening on Monday…

13 days to go…

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“WASHING MACHINE” opens next Friday – June 20th! There’s never enough time in theater. There’s never enough space either – if that’s a comprehensive thought at all. There’s the chaos of rehearsals and the haphazard nature of marketing. And the unpredictability. What’s going to happen? Who’s going to show up? Who’s going to embrace the show? Who’s going to reject the show? What’s going to happen with the email blasts and the “flyering”? What the hell am I going to do with this blog? Are lights and sound going to work? Is the set going to fit through the door?

Is anyone reading this going to care?

And I’ll tell you something. If we get to the Sanford Meisner next Friday and plug in the lights – and they don’t work – or the sound wonks out – or the set collapses – it won’t matter. It won’t matter.

Because Dana could walk into that empty theater with nothing more than her costume, that pink bandanna, and a boom-box for underscoring and you’ll see something remarkable. Remarkable.

I got into theatre for the unpredictability. I got into theatre because of its immediacy and because of its potential to exhilarate and because of its potential to fail. You fail in most any other creative medium – you edit or you cut around it or you paint over it. In theatre – you breathe the same air as the people who are performing in front of you. And if you fail – but you fail with conviction – it can be just as enthralling as a success. I don’t know if I can completely qualify or explain that in an effective manner. I can only explain by example. How many productions have I seen where an actor went up on their lines? Countless. And more than once I have watched them flounder. But I have also seen some of them use the failure – use the mistake – and create a moment of character that I could never script. They play indecision or they play insecurity. They commit to their circumstance and they use every moment to its fullest.

Where else can you do that? Where else can you use unpredictability? Theatre wants to evade expectation. Theatre wants to revel in the fact that you do not know what’s coming.

“WASHING MACHINE” deals with so much of this. The antagonist of the piece is circumstance. The very fact that we are often at the mercy of things we have no control over. We are blessed and cursed by what we can’t predict.

Come and see the show and you’ll see what I’m talking about. We open on the 20th of June and run thru July 19th. Everyone involved is fantastic! I’m really proud of the work we’ve done here.