Everyday I think of the future, looking towards June 14th, the day when our lease is up and Rachel can I move out of the unfortunate two-bedroom living arrangement we find ourselves in. It’s sad to me that at a time when so much is bringing me joy–being engaged, loving my job, making new amazing friends, exploring this new and wacky city, being in conversation with so many brilliant theater people here and in Chicago, having two cute cats, living in a country with an articulate and respected President–the one thing that is not happy is where I come home to. We lived with my buddy Travis back in St. Louis and it worked out great; then I think we spoiled ourselves by living alone in Chicago. It’s hard to readjust to living with someone again. I’m looking forward to a time when I can come home from a ridiculously busy week at work (like this last one, just as a totally random and not foreshadowing-towards-the-body-of-this-post example) to an apartment devoid of the kind of tension that can only be created when cohabitants are totally incompatible.
Yesterday A.C.T. went live with selling back issues of Words on Plays online. We’ve sold back issues before, but usually how it happened was that somebody would call up the box office and say, “Hey, I saw that you did Hedda Gabler a few years ago. You got one of those study guide things,” and they would process it over there. A couple months ago, we restructured this so the orders would come to me. We had one since we made the switch, and that had actually been an order we’ve had since August that was just sitting around until somebody decided who was going to take care of it. Our webmaster has been wanting to take the business online, so she and I worked out the procedure and then last Thursday I spent 3 hours in archives–the basement of a building adjacent to our theater–cutting open boxes of stored Words on Plays to see what we actually had to offer. Sadly, we’ve recycled a good many of them over the years because we don’t have a lot of space; but as many as could survive survived. Then our webmaster worked out the kinks, and pushed a button.
Suddenly it’s as if I am a business owner.
I sold my first Words on Plays back issues today, the one for our production of Blackbird, to a woman who lives in Ohio. It made me gitty. I love these books. I believe in them. When things slow down, I’m going to work on pushing them on theater departments to see if there is an interest in working them into theater culture studies curriculums as a way to teach the production side of plays, which so often are just treated as texts or literature.
Later (like 10 minute later) I found a copy of our current Words on Plays, for our upcoming production of Souvenir, in the bathroom by the toilet. A humbling juxtaposition to be sure, but at least it meant one of the students took it out of his mailbox, presumably with the intention of reading it while on the crapper…right? I mean, we’re always well stocked on toilet paper…
Also this week, my artistic director and dramaturg and I finally sat down to have the long hard talk about what our literary team (I cannot really call it a staff, and I really can’t call it a department) is about. What should we be reading when none of us carry the title of literary manager and all of us have tremendous responsibilities in other areas? The result was unsurprising, but also liberating. We are pulling it in, tightening around our mission statement, celebrating what we are good at doing and admitting what we are not. And 76 scripts on my shelf (I cataloged them on Tuesday) will mostly disappear on Monday. Then, without that crippling display, it will be easier to read what is left.
In other news, Rachel and I saw Adele with some friends last night at the Warfield and good freaking lord:
She was amazing. And yes this is from that concert. And no I did not make the video. Like I would know how to make a fricking video? I’m proud I learned how steal it from youtube for you.