April 14, 2008

Romani Ite Domum, or How I Won't Be Spending My Summer Vacation


Well, my summer plans are now up in the air, as I have learned that Washington Shakespeare Company has been forced to indefinitely postpone their June/July production of "The Romans In Britain."

Turns out that WSC's application for the performance rights was declined, despite much begging and pleading on their part, and much regret on the playwright's agent's. It's been hinted that there may be a large-scale production in the works which involves global exclusivity... maybe the National Theatre in London is reviving it?

In any case, there are a lot of chagrined actors who, like me, have dropped out of and/or turned down other shows to be a part of "Romans." I predict a future encounter between myself and the producer of one such show that will not be a particularly happy one.

Not for naught do the play publishing companies like Sam French and Dramatists repeatedly say in their websites and catalogues... DON'T CAST, PUBLICIZE OR MAKE ANY LONG-TERM PRODUCTION PLANS UNTIL YOU'VE SECURED THE RIGHTS!!

I recall a legendary local anecdote from a few years back concerning a very awkward phone conversation between an Artistic Director and a famous and notoriously prickly playwright over not entirely dissimilar circumstances. I wonder sometimes if people ever actually learn anything.

To their credit, WSC has weathered crises like this in the past, and have managed to make some rather tasty lemonade out of their lemons. Last season they had to scrap a production at the last minute, and they nonetheless managed to create an entire new production -- a world premiere, no less -- in all of three weeks. So perhaps they'll pull something brilliant together this time too. You never know.

That said, I'd been trying my best to plug "Romans" by describing the lurid detail of my naked rape scene. So I thus have to say, not inappropriately, BUGGER!

1 comment:

Sean said...

I'm sorry to hear your part crapped out on you John. Maybe they still need a director for 'A Winter's Tale?"

KIDDING KIDDING

I hope something good comes your way as a replacement.