Saturday, July 26, 2008


This is it. As I sit in the apartment, I've packed up as much as I can, and after finishing this post I'll head down to Woolly Mammoth to do the last two shows--an intense doubleheader--of IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING.

And then that's it for the show until September.

What's interesting is that with the extension, we're ending this run on July 26th, and the monologue was actually born on June 26th, one month ago this evening. It has been a very intense month, at times almost too intense—JM and I both had some breakdowns after weeks of long performances followed by 3 hours of notes the next day, followed by two hours of me implementing changes in the outline, followed by performance—rinse and repeat.

I actually burned out last week, the night we had a very important guest—after we talked after the show and he left, I felt nothing left inside of me. It was not depression, it was deeper. I was achingly hollow, and I was thinking how wonderful it would be if this would just stop—all of it, forever. No more monologues. No performing. Nothing. Not angry or self-piteous...just cancelled.

It was unsettling, but it's a good reminder that there are limits—I'm confident that in this process over the last 30 days we pushed right up against them. Today I don't feel that ache: I think getting through our loss in the family this week was part of what broke us, but now on the other side I feel almost rejuvenated.

The show is in spectacular shape, and I'm so thrilled at the rest of the national tour we have lined up: now is exactly the right time for this monologue to be flowering, and I'm glad we put the work in now to make that happen.

I also can't emphasize what a joy it has been working with Woolly Mammoth. A company of consummate artists, they challenge a lot of the conventional wisdom about American theater, and the fact that they are thriving says something deep and rich about the absolute necessity of following your vision at absolutely any cost.

The fact that they are the first (and at this point, only) regional theater who will have us perform HOW THEATER FAILED AMERICA indicates a commitment to real discussion and self-examination that I think is absolutely hopeful. None of us is perfect, but I've seen wonderful things at Woolly over the last few weeks that really make me feel a light shining in through the window.

All the shows are sold out today—it's been absolutely incredible to receive such a warm reception in a new city. I can not wait to come back in six months and work with these fantastic audiences again in January.