The Williamstown Special Theatre Olympics

This is a column by one of the authors of The Underminer: The Best Friend Who Casually Destroys Your Life, who is (still) tweedling away his days up at Yaddo right now, by the way. Are you?

Hello we have seats D12-18, center?

Oh, I'm sorry I think you have me confused with—

Oh! Ha ha! It's you! I apologize I didn't recognize you in your costume. How cute that they are making the ushers dress up in period garb. Are you actually appearing in this production? You are?

Oh. You are a part of the apprentice program. Don't you have to pay for that here? I can't remember.

Well no of course it's worth the experience... what part are you playing? You may remember I directed a version of the play for with Ethan and Marisa and the rest of the Naked Angels crew back in '99.

Oh. Well changing the set between acts can be a very gratifying role, too! You are learning about transitions!

Cynthia, Cynthia, I'll be there in a second. Just save me a seat.

I'm just here on a whim! Seriously I was just in the WestBeth building, talking to Merce, when Tony Kushner called my cell and says "Road Trip!" and not twenty minutes later he pulls up with Cindy Nixon, Joe Mantello and the doubly gorgeous Matt Cavanaugh and Cheyenne Jackson who were in such a hurry they forgot to wear shirts, and we sped up here to see our good good good friend Kate Burton in The Corn is Green.

Oh I'm just up here for the night to see Kate, OWNING her role as an idealistic teacher in a small Welsh mining town, enchanting audiences as she has done so many times before, and as her father had done, and as her son is doing on stage with her tonight. She is like acting in its most protean, magma-like state isn't she? You must feel so blessed to be on stage with her, even if it is to just strike her shoes.

See that's the good thing about Williamstown. They really give you apprentices a real 360 degree perspective of the theater arts so that you can see what being a professional actor is really like. Or, um, like, what being a professional usher is like, maybe. It's just good for all sortsa people to be involved in the theater!

My neighbor upstate in Rhinebeck enrolled her... special... son last summer and it really brought a smile to the boy's sweet, special, wide, emotionally disturbed face. And now he's got an agent and is being considered the "next John Heder." It's crazy it's crazy.

Yes the Williamstown Theatre Festival's training programs have inspired dreams and launched careers. But you know, that's not what it's about really what it's about. I mean if this doesn't end up jumpstarting a career in acting for you, then maybe, finally, you will know you did all you could. I don't mean YOU-you, I mean a general "you."

Speaking of launching, I have to hurry back to New York tonight because five separate theater pieces of mine are opening at the Fringe Festival. I know! I don't know how it happened, but it has been just a really productive year for me. It's just weird how they coincided: Bikram: The Musical, Barnes & Noble: The Musical, Baghdad 2016, American Firecrotch, and (:-P: an Emoticon Love Story in Three Acts.

Oh you have something on your face. Oh it's a whitehead.

Well I can't wait to see you up there, moving furniture around! Don't get nervous now! Ha ha.



Previously: "No, I'm Not Laughing At You. I Just Got A Really Funny Video Email On My iPhone!"