Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Show Goes On

I wore my superhero t-shirt today. No, not one with a bat symbol, or a spider, but the one with the “SH” logo in the corner, and “Suspension of Disbelief” on the back.

This t-shirt is a souvenir from a play I wrote a few years back, directed by friend Jennifer Schuchmann and performed at the American Heritage Academy in Georgia.

The play, “Superhero High,” is about a school for the super-powered. For the special effects, we used stage hands – manipulating things on poles, lifting kids in the air, etc.

The magic was in the audience being unable to see the stagehands, a trick we pulled off by having them wear t-shirts that said things like, “You can’t see me,” “I’m not here,” and “Suspension of disbelief.”

I got me a t-shirt from the cast when it was done.

I’m wearing the shirt in honor of the fact that the school is performing a new play of mine this weekend, “Deadline,” with music and lyrics by Tony Troy.

It is odd – not the piece, but the fact that I won’t be there this year to see it.

I should be used to it – as a playwright, I do not get to see the majority of my plays in production. In fact, those where the rights are obtained through a publisher like Lillenas or a company like Taproot – I usually don’t even know the work is being staged until my quarterly statement arrives months after closing night.

But this is different – maybe because the director, Jennifer, is such a good friend.

Or because this is the world premiere, and I have no idea how well the writing holds up.

Or maybe I want to be in a room where everybody is celebrating something that I had a hand in.

Do folks that work on assembly lines seek out the cars on the street that they had a hand in? Ask the owner how she handles the road?

Do grocery clerks get tempted to call patrons at night and see how that frozen pizza worked out?

Do hotel maids desire to hide in the closet, to see the look on the guest’s face when he sees how neatly the blankets have been folded over, or if the triangle fold on the tp is appreciated?

Maybe they should.

Just my thoughts,

Sean

1 comment:

Emily said...

Mr. Gaffney,

You probably don't remember me, but I have met you on each of your trips to see American Heritage Academy perform your plays. I was the student director who organized all of the superhero occurrences during "Superhero High" and you even copied all of my stage notes out of my script. I have not attended AHA for two years now, but have gone back each year to help with the spring production. This past week I was at the school every day helping with the final touches of "Deadline." Since you were not able to attend this year, I would just like to tell you that the show went off as flawlessly as a live production can go, and everyone throughly enjoyed themselves. Audience members who had never before seen an AHA production were amazed at the quality of the script, the acting, and the overall product, and for the parents who have seen countless shows before, they were just as impressed.

So although your presence was missed by the returning actors, directors, and parents, the show did go on (as your blog title states), and I think that you would have been impressed with the final result.

Emily Briegel

P.S. I'm glad to hear that you still have your SH shirt...I also wore mine this past week to rehearsals.