Rocking it new school

Posted by Rachel on June 11, 2008

Company Members Celebration of Authors

Barrel of Monkeys is tired. We had way too much fun celebrating authors, stayed up way past our bedtimes, and today we’re honestly a little cranky. Cranky in the sense that people keep saying nice things about last night, and hearing them makes us cry. We had so much fun performing amazing stories in a beautiful space for the authors, friends, and families! Our best count comes to around 436 people in the audience including many of our superstar authors.

Monkey friend James Eric took these pics of Molly Brennan’s terrifying performance as scientist who creates a pill that turns her into a monster—eight superheroes can’t keep her from destruction.

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After a week of intense rehearsals, the actual show zoomed by without a hitch. At one point, I had the experience of standing backstage looking forward to performing a particular story and then remembering we’d already done it. You would understand my confusion if you’d run these stories backwards and forwards for days. In reality, the show was almost over, but I didn’t want it to end.

The consolation is that now these stories will be eligible for performance in That’s Weird, Grandma!

And you know what else is eligible for performance in Grandma? Our new company members . . .

This makes me giddy. Celebration of Authors is traditionally the first public performance new monkeys do, and this year, we have amazing new monkeys. I’m afraid to list them all here because I might forget someone, and then I’d feel sad. Someone more organized will have to do that, but I will tell you about one—my monkey buddy, Mary Winn Heider . . . In this rehearsal shot taken by Mike Tutaj, she’s the hippo and I’m the lion. We’re doing some serious viewpoints, repeating shapes here. :)

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Monkey buddy means that as an old monkey and a new monkey, we got paired up at the start of the year. I think I was supposed to answer her questions and make sure she felt comfortable at rehearsal, but here’s the thing . . . on her first day of rehearsal, Mary Winn decided to tackle a three-story combo, high-concept adaptation, and rocked it. At her first school show, I felt like I should be doing something, so I showed her how I fold my runlist so it fits neatly in my back pocket. That’s the only thing I could come up with in the way of “guidance” because Mary Winn is a smart, strong performer and has been a rockstar in school shows all year.

Every year, loads of amazing people audition for this company, so in a way we can’t go wrong, but I have to think there’s a degree of kismet going on that leads us to people who are not only strong performers but who, because of some essential quality you can’t always name, fill in a space and make us stronger as an ensemble. When Mary Winn came to callbacks, she had something glowy about her that said, “Pick me, pick me.” I remember someone saying, “She feels like a monkey.”

In the show last night, she filled Sarah Goeden’s tough shoes in “The Sisters That Fight,” which includes my favorite line of dialogue from this year: “Let’s get to be best sisters and destroy boys that like us!”

I loved getting to perform in a duo with my monkey buddy. I can’t wait for her to start blogging here. (You said you would, Mary Winn!) I can’t wait to see her in Grandma, and I can’t wait for the fall when we get to do school shows again.

That goes for all the new monkeys! We heart you!

2 Comments

It was such a rockin’ night.  The kids loved it!!!

Michael G June 12, 2008 at 07:34 PM

It sure did rule! Thanks to all you performers for being so good in the play, and to all the kids for writing such good stuff (it’s the children’s words y’all!)

Heidi June 12, 2008 at 07:37 PM

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