I just opened up the script for Gross Indecency, my next directing gig for Theatre Cedar Rapids. That means the near total immersion will begin within the week. And auditions for the show aren’t until mid-December.

Most people have no idea what goes into producing a high quality stageplay. And I guess that’s okay, because it really does need to be a bit of magic, like some diaphanous vision that condenses to clarity for an hour or two then disappears forever. That’s one of the things I love about theatre.

I always turn the script into a pdf and layout the page to my liking. I’m a bit of a control freak that way. It gives me room to write. Write my thoughts. Write my blocking. Write my scene breaks. The usual stuff. Market scripts just don’t give you any room to write. I honestly don’t understand it. You’d think that publishers that focus solely on scripts would make them more user friendly for actors and directors. Oh, well.

Anyway, Gross Indecency is an interesting script. It’s not one that really grabs me emotionally as a director though. But it’s one of those whacky Moisés Kaufman interviewed docudrama style plays, which makes the preproduction work and the rehearsals particularly interesting.

There are around 40 characters with only nine actors. That’s really where the challenge comes. And, unlike most plays, it really doesn’t tell you which actors should play which roles. It’s gives you a general sort of idea for the major roles, but the rest is up to you. So today I have pulled out the Excel and have started creating the actor/character/scene/page number spreadsheet. Nightmare!

Then, this is a topic I know almost nothing about, so there is a good deal of research to do.

Then we’ve got some preproduction meetings to work the set and the costumes.

All this is, of course, coming intertwined with finishing up Alice in Wonderland, as well as the ongoing writing and performing in the Writer’s Room Series. I’ve also been asked to write a short thing for an upcoming United Way conference.

Whew! It’s going to get pretty sporty here in December.