Saturday, August 22, 2009
AYTD is a work-in-progress. I have changed words here and there since the Fringe began. And I intend the alter it even further. I don't think it needs to be 80 minutes long. During the BIG BOX rehearsal process, I was kicking out long pieces of exposition. After BIG BOX I got the impression that the NY Marathon pieces were too long, they were difficult to say while running, and besides, we got it, Pengo - move on.
I also got the impression that people wanted more of Pengo, of the illustrator, of the relationships - I did not add to those, I cut the running bits so we could get back to them.
The reviews I have received here have been extremely helpful. Believe me, I am not just saying that. Some comments I find difficult to take seriously - TONY said (in addition to numerous extremely kind and positive things) "a virtual run through Cleveland goes nowhere." But when nytheatre.com adds "Segments about how he trained for the race, especially his final preparatory run, from his own home on one side of greater Cleveland, to his parents house across town, are similarly fascinating," it is easy to dismiss such comments outright. HOWEVER, I do believe I did not do an adequate job with the Cleveland run on opening night - when TONY was in the audience. And that has changed the way I have done it in subsequent days. That's a lesson, too.
As to the rest of the nytheatre.com review, Martin Denton states very clearly; "What I wanted was to understand why running is so fundamentally important to Hansen. But this show never really gets us to that place." This is extremely important to me, and I take it to heart. Denton's review was very carefully critical, like I was receiving feedback from a member of the Play House Playwrights Unit, or a teacher, or a friend.
What he never does in his review is get clever, add humor for its own sake, write with condescension ... it is as though he cares. And Martin Denton is, by the way, the founder of nytheatre.com. That's who they (he) sent to my show. Time Out New York sent Michael Freidson, the editor-in-chief. Both sites are trying to cover all 201 shows. I am flattered. And I really feel this trip has been worth everything.