So after two long days of Chad Deity rehearsals in Minneapolis, I leave my house at 9:30am this morning for my 11:30am flight to Chicago. It’s a twenty minute bus ride to the light rail, and a ten minute trip from there to Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. Plenty of time. I get on the bus, I make it to the light rail, I remark to myself how smoothly this trip is all going so far — and immediately realize that I forgot my suitcase in my apartment.
Now I’m waiting for my 2:05 flight.
When I get to town, I’ll be diving into Day Two of rehearsals of Welcome to Arroyo’s. By all accounts, last night’s meet-and-greet/first read/rehearsal-kicker-offer was a huge success. In addition to the cast and crew, we had American Theater Company staff members and American Mosaic teaching artists (the folks who are taking Arroyo’s into the Chicago Public Schools over the next six weeks) in the house, and everyone is responding to the work. It’s hard not to be around for an event like that. It’s a rare and special moment to have so many members of the community you’re going to be serving in attendance, and it’s moments like that which really make this the coolest job on the planet. Even still, we’ll be doing another read tonight when I get to town, plus I get all caught up on design elements and actor questions. This is the best of times.
Minneapolis rehearsals were super fun, and I would have loved to spend more time involved in that company’s progress (I’m hoping to post with some more thoughts from the first few days soon). This is an entirely different beast though. It’s the world premiere of my baby — the first play I ever wrote and the reason that I have a career at all. And it’s in Chicago, my adopted artistic home. And it’s the follow-up to Chad Deity (as far as Chicago audiences are concerned) — it’s the chance for the critics to either say that I’m no fluke in their eyes, or call me out for a lack of growth (on a play that I wrote five years before Chad ever existed). So there’s pressure, I guess — but the excitement is way more palpable. I can’t wait.
And oh wait — a little guy just grabbed my iced tea from under my seat, and his brother is looking over my shoulder as I write this. There are two parents and three boys in this equation. The numbers are simply not working out for them.