One reason I have not been updating this blog lately is that I've been preparing one of the scariest performance projects of my life. It is an original play entitled An Iliad, written by Lisa Peterson and Denis O'Hare, inspired by Homer's Iliad and focusing mainly on the confrontation between Hector and Achilles; and, even more centrally, on the theme of Achilles and rage. The play won an Obie and is currently seeing production at regional theatres all over the United States. I am, as far as I can discover, the first to perform it in the southwest.
The play is typically performed by one actor with a musician in accompaniment. For this production, I have collaborated with Las Cruces musician Randy Granger to create a performance by two bards -- one (me) using the language of storytelling, the other using the language of music. Randy plays a variety of flutes, stringed instruments, and percussion, improvising music throughout. Our rehearsals crackle with creative energy and spontaneity, and the three onlookers we've invited to have a peek at the show say the work is very good indeed.
During the past few days, I have moved from feeling very scared to very excited. But I am still a little scared, still improving my own work, and -- as is typical in theatre -- wishing I had just a few more days to prepare better.
But it is time. The show opens tomorrow night for its first three performances in Las Cruces, at the Black Box Theatre. Randy and I hope to tour the show to venues elsewhere, and we have set up a Facebook page to organize updates and announce new dates.
Meanwhile, local writer David Salcido interviewed Randy and me for a lengthy preview article about the show, which you can enjoy by clicking here.