We were doing a historic rep: America’s first Shakespeare’s Histories rep. 8 plays across two seasons – the first four with Richard II, Henry IV pt 1&2, and Henry V as our final show for the first season. We had been rehearsing since beginning of August 2019 and started opening one show at a time in January, rehearsing and teching the other shows throughout the run.
We had just gotten through tech week for Henry V when the virus had made it into the states. With everyday it was getting closer and more deadly. Everyone was getting scared.
We prayed we could just get to opening night.
We cancelled the other rep shows we had on schedule for that weekend, out moral responsibility, but we wanted to open that last show. Admittedly, I waited all day for my SM to text me that the show was canceled.
But they didn’t.
And we opened Henry V. Then, we closed it that night. Sent all the patrons away and had a private party amongst ourselves but it didn’t last long and it didn’t feel right.
What was supposed to be a celebration turned into a funeral of art. To be honest, I was so mad with everything and everyone that I contributed to that experience and left a bit early, which I sorely regret now…
Seven months. Seven months of the hardest work I had done in my career. Seven months of blood. Of sweat. Of tears. Of time. Of panic attacks. Of breakups. Of get togethers. Of pulling togethers. Of frustration. Of bitching. Of laughing. Of drinking. Of adoring. Of loving. Seven months. Gone, and without a fight cause their was nothing to fight.
Fortunately, for us our season was fully funded so we’ll be getting paid to May – what was left of our contracts. We hope to come back this August to do the other half of the rep and then next summer do a marathon of all 8 shows. I hold out hope but tbh I’m not sure if that will happen…
We do virtual line throughs as a way to keep our sanity… finish out the duration of the run, virtually and just for us. But it’s merely balm on the wound.
I miss the frustration. I miss the characters we had spent months with. I miss the world we built. I miss the work. I miss the love. I miss my cast mates – this close knit band of fools that I had grown accustomed to seeing everyday.
I miss everything.
I feel for everyone in our line of work who have lost jobs or had their shows canceled but this one takes the cake in pain, in my opinion. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be over what was robbed from us, and more selfishly, what was robbed from me.