Our critically acclaimed run of Rajiv Joseph's Gruesome Playground Injuries closed last night after eight-performances over two weeks. I honestly can’t remember the last time, if ever, I was this entwined with a character, this invested in a role, this in love with the immediate creative team. And so to be done feels like someone has ripped my heart out of my chest and left a gaping wound in its stead. A tad dramatic? Perhaps. And yet, here I sit, marveling at the way the night air churns with this springtime thunderstorm, with an ache that has burrowed in and is taking no pains to ease.
Upon the start of rehearsal we created a little family – Director Natalie, Stage Manager Tamara, Adam, and I – to figure out the story of Doug and Kayleen. The intimacies we shared, the insecurities, the acceptance, the hilarity, the breaks spent piled on the sofa with each other – just a comfortable mess of limbs and laughter – all in service of figuring out the puzzle of these wounded people; it was exactly what I needed in my personal life exactly when I needed it.
To spend so much time together, to work so intensely for six weeks on creating a reality together, and to then just be done…it’s heartbreaking, really. Being done - not spending my evenings with these lovely people - it just hurts.
And so tonight, I will let it be what it is. And tomorrow… well, if this storm has any significance, tomorrow will dawn washed and more verdant.
Photos courtesy Justin D. Gallo Photography