...and perhaps I shouldn't be "restless" at 2am, but thus is my somewhat destabilized sleep schedule of late.
I went to see Darkside of the Moon at the Armory Free Theatre tonight. I'd never been there before; the amateur tech reminded me of the Station Theatre and I felt quite at home in the space. I knew nothing of the play other than Becca was acting in it and that it was a drama.
I was actually very pleased by the performance. The actors were three-out-of-four strong, the (simple) tech was almost flawless, and while the dialog had that slightly stilted, stereotyped sound to it, I didn't find it too distracting.
What impressed me most was the maturity and sensitivity of the subject matter (a father who falls victim to brain cancer, the tremors this sends through the rest of the family, and the dynamics between the family members as a result of the father's death sentence. I was doubly impressed by the fact that such mature and sensitive writing came from the quite young playwright-director. I think Becca told me he is 22 years old. That's pretty young to have such a firm, multidimensional grasp of death.
Of course, I could tell immediately that the script was somewhat autobiographical, because the playwright's own widowed mother was sitting just behind me and slightly to my right in the audience. Between hearing her sobbing, catching a few glances at her eyes as she watched, and the fact that Becca was playing the wife (i.e., her) on stage was particularly intense, and I found that I was watching with slightly different eyes: it wasn't so much that the script was entertaining me as much as confessing to me, sharing with me, and purging itself of some obviously intense and undealt-with emotions.
It's significant that I only briefly related what was going on to the death of my own father, two years ago. And I felt some guilt that my thoughts went much more often to my best friend Sandy, who died of cancer 6/30/2000. It was thinking of her that brought tears to my eyes once or twice.
My wife chose not to go along, which was okay because there was a local musician playing that she wanted to see (I kind of did too). After seeing the play, though, I wished that I'd made a stronger suggestion about it. Just like the family in the play, she too lost her father to cancer when she was a teenager.
I meant to compliment the director after the play, but wasn't able to catch him, so after chatting with Rebecca for a few minutes, just left. I intended to email him, but there are fourteen Matthew Johnsons in ph so oh well..