January 19, 2010
What a difference an audience makes! We just finished our first weekend of preview performances for The Year of Magical Thinking, and so far I’ve learned so much from our audience’s reaction. Each night, in talk backs, I get the chance to listen directly to audience feedback, to hear some of our artistic choices validated, to hear some called into question. I’ve been stunned by the number of people who are staying to talk to us about this show. I can’t remember the last time I saw an audience so hungry to verbalize their experience and share their own personal memories. It’s a play that actively encourages a response.
This week, Mary Beth and I are still working most closely on the last quarter of the play. It’s a difficult section. Without giving too much away, the character of Joan has a subtle but distinct change of intention three-quarters into the play, and we’ve been taking our time figuring out what that new intention really is. Joan Didion, who has been enormously helpful in talking openly about the play with Mary Beth and I, took the time to email me a few responses to some questions I’d asked of her play. I’m thrilled to put some of these new thoughts to action in our next few nights of previews. Please join us as we continue to discover the complexities of this piece!