We're in Cape Cod, at the Cape Cod Theatre Project, and I have to say that all the hype about the Cape has been profoundly correct--such incredible beauty from the rugged coastline, the delightful shops, the preternaturally perfect horticulture--we're a stone's throw from Martha's Vinyard here in Woods Hole, and it's easy to see how this has become a nation's dream of its idyllic self. At the same, it's all about the money--this area could only have become as exalted as it is because of the massive wealth that has accreted here, which distorts my ability to see how nice it is. Is this really be the best place to "summer" because it had the best weather, or did the first rich people coming here make it that way by way of reputation and real estate?
I can not tell. But I do know it is not an illusion--this is a glorious place, and the whole idea of the CCTP is a noble one. They give shows that haven't had full productions rehearsed readings, and run it as a workshop--all week JM and I are working intimately with the staff, revising and reworking the outlines for THE UGLY AMERICAN, and on Thursday we put the show up, with full sound, music and lights, for over 150 folks. That night we do a feedback session with the audience, and then the next day there's a rewrite/rehearsal call where JM and I will discuss how things went, implement changes in the outline and rework things for each performance. In the end it will be seen by over 600 people, and many productions coming out of here end up at regional theaters around the country.
And so far the CCTP is as good as the press it's received--professional folks who know how to have fun, and the beautiful house we're staying in here is just minutes from a private beach, which I haven't yet tried but I'm really looking forward to. I'm thrilled with the work that has been done even so far--the dramaturgy, led by Johanna Gruenhut, has been marvelous. Dramaturgy is funny--many times, I have no use for it, but when people come to the table with sharp ideas and clear minds it can create wonderful things. Or at least, I hope it will in this case.
Tonight we're going out to dinner at one of the restaurants here, and then the rest of the evening will be spent going over the material and getting ready for tomorrow. It's shaping up to be an intense week.