If you're just joining us, you can go here for complete coverage of last year's Humana, as well as a great intro to the whole phenomena and my experience with it over the last decade.
On to now ... I'm at Day's Espresso Shop, and the coffee is reeeeaaallllllllly fucking good. So smoothe. I've got a little booth to myself, the WIFI is strong, I've got my iPod Shuffle, and there are outlets seemingly everywhere. So, I'm very, very happy. It's 9:33am. The perfect time to let out all my thoughts about last night.
Wow, they're playing my favorite Peter, Paul, and Mary album here. That totally fuckin rules.
We're only seeing 5 shows this weekend, which is a bit of a letdown, really. I'm trying not to be discouraged just by that. But it's Humana, so I'm still very excited. I got all pumped-up just seeing the Louisville skyline yesterday evening, as Ian and I drove in together. It's that kind of thing now.
I'm here this year with a group of five from Iowa City (and Iowa University), including good friends Sean Lewis, Jenn Fawcett, and Austin Bunn. Brant and Emily join us today, as well as Acacia, and Ian Short traveled down with me.
Our first show (for Ian and I) was The As-If Body Loop by Ken Weitzman. It's strange to say, but Ken's picture led me to believe I would really like his play. And, someday, I might. Right now, though, it needs some work.
It seems to me that it was an almost quintessential Humana experience last night. The play had opened the night before, the actors were clearly still learning some of their lines. Very likely the play had been re-written and rehearsed during the day after the first performance. As a result, there was a whole lot of explanation shoved into the last 4 minutes, since the playwright hasn't figured out where else to put it yet. I guess I think the play probably wasn't quite ready for production. And yet, they got a good group of actors together, including a very recognizable film actor, and obviously spent a crap-load of money on one of Paul Owens impressively expressive and creative problem-solving sets. (There's an attic. For real.)
All of which is not to say I didn't enjoy it. Sometimes I really enjoyed the play. I laughed, and a lot of the audience stood. (Of course, as usual, I'm reminded that most of them paid $52 a seat, so they have more invested in their enjoyment.) And I really enjoyed the experience of seeing the play. It's a given that a some of the plays won't be quite ready. I'll be very curious to hear what others think when they see it two weeks from now.
The Iowa group saw The Unseen by Craig Wright last night. I didn't realize it before, but Craig Wright wrote The Pavilion, one of my least favorite plays of all time. They were split. Some liked it it, some really didn't Also, there was a talkback, in which it was revealed that Marc Masterson accepted the play, despite the fact that he'd only read 30 pages of it (because Wright had only written 30 pages). WHY? Well, because Marc wanted to work with Craig Wright, whose Pavilion he had admired so much when City Theatre did it in Pittsburgh.
GRRRRRRRRR. The more I hear about Marc Masterson, the less I like him. I wonder how many finished, totally worthy plays were submitted to Humana that he ignored. I know of at least two (by Sean and Jenn) that are definitely good plays already and could have really benefited from the Humana development process. That's frustrating too, because Craig Wright, famous TV writer, only showed up at ATL for 4 days(!) during which he finished the play. And that was a week-and-a-half ago. So, he didn't even bother to make use of the opportunity that Masterson had provided for him. What a couple of jerks. They deserve each other.
Well, that's decided, I'm gonna hate The Unseen.
Anyway. LATE dinner at Karma Cafe, where we were plagued by a crazy young woman named Blair who I can't find on MySpace. You'll have to ask me if you want to get that story.
That's all for now. I'll be updating this post as the day goes on, or adding more posts.