Deb is the director of ‘Talking With…’ at Weathervane Playhouse, which opens Thursday, Nov. 2. The play is a collection of monologues featuring different female characters, ranging from a baton twirler and fundamentalist snake handler to an ex-rodeo rider and an actress.
I met my husband in 1987. I was home from college with my Musical Theatre BFA and some Masters work done. I was cast in a local community theatre production of Chicago at Weathervane Playhouse.
At our first music rehearsal, in walks this 30ish year old guy wearing a long coat, a grandpa hat and a cane. He looked pretentious if you asked me. And then everyone got up to give him a seat! I thought who the heck is this guy?
(Unlike most of the folks there I, of course, didn’t know he was recovering from a serious back injury and surgery. However, that doesn’t explain the grandpa hat.)
We sit down to our first music rehearsal. He sits next to me. Like many annoying people, he has perfect pitch and was a stickler for precise counting. So, for what seemed like every eight or 16 bars, he would interrupt the music director and point out that it was a ‘dotted quarter note’ not a ‘quarter note’ or that we were not in tune. He tells me now that I exaggerate, but it’s my version of the story.
I was relieved to find we didn’t have to rehearse together for the most part until we started getting close to the opening performance. Then to add insult to injury, at ‘places’ I had to stand next to him for our first entrance. I was not happy.
My plans to move to California after the show closed had fallen through, and about a year later I went to see another production at Weathervane that some friends were in. Nora, the box office person (and who folks swear was a conjure woman, who still visits Weathervane, giving the theatre a good ghost story as all theatres should have), flashed one of her amazing smiles with a glint in her eye as she gave me my ticket. I sit down in the middle of an empty row. Well, almost empty. In the seat next to me was, yes you guess it, him! Seriously?! Now I had to make small talk with the most annoying man in the world.
After the performance, I went out for a drink with my friends from the show, as did Mr. Annoying. As the evening went on, I had to admit he wasn’t quite as annoying as I originally thought. He was, it turns out, a very smart, funny and compassionate person.
He offered to walk me to my car and we ended up standing in the parking lot talking for probably an hour and a half before going our separate ways. A week later he asked me out to dinner, and that, as they say, was that.
My now husband Russ and I continued to do community theatre in the area. While he maintained a traditional day job, I eventually began working professionally and after our daughter Rocky was born, I started my own production company, queen bee productions, and produced theatre and events on my own. I’ve also worked for the past 13 years as an actor and educator for Magical Theatre Company.
Russ recently jumped back into the community theatre scene with a production of “Red” at Weathervane, then Russ and Rocky both did “Hairspray” last year. And now I have the privilege of directing “Talking With…” at Weathervane with Rocky in the cast.
As any theatre person will tell you, being a part of a production is like being a part of a big family. It doesn’t matter if that production is at your school, in your community or on a professional stage. I love live theatre: how it transcends barriers, inspires compassion and creates families. And now I have come full circle with a new “production family” that I get to share with my real family where my little family started in the first place! Doesn’t get much better than that.
‘Taking With…’ runs Nov. 2 through 12 in Weathervane’s Dietz Theater. Show times are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. There is also a single Saturday matinee performance on Nov. 11 at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 to $22 and are available by calling the box office at (330) 836-2626 or by going to www.weathervaneplayhouse.com. Audience Advisory: Due to adult language and themes, this play is not suitable for children.