Thursday, May 19, 2005

Stuff Happens is Underway

When the actors, who have been rehersing Stuff Happens for weeks, finally get on stage for the first time, it's an interesting moment to say the least. Some are overly dramatic, testing the space for echos, walking around the audience, while others simply go right to work, getting the spacing right, the distances from off stage to on, the distances down steps, etc. The general "getting the feel" of the place attitude is different for every one of the 22 actors.

In what is apparently the beginning of the play (I don't have a script and haven't seen one), the players are introduced with a bit of background. From Hans Blix to Condoleeza Rice, each of the major players is introudced with some ironic bit of the history (Cheney dodging the draft, Wolfowitz preaching that Vietnam was an abuse of US power). Many of the actors play alternate characters, like the press, while various speakers take turns narrating bits of transition.

Law and Order fans will be happy to know that Condoleeza Rice is being played by Lorraine Toussaint, or Shambala Green, who kicked Stone's ass in court a few times (who didn't?). I can already see that this is going to portray Secretary of State Powell as a decent guy who is dumbfounded by the singlemindedness and ignorance of the new administration. Same for Paul O'Neill. George Tenant looks like he's on board with the agenda from the get go.

Hard to tell too much now, but it has potential, that's for sure.

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