Mad Dash report (it really happened)

We ended up having a blast at Mad Dash last month.  (July was crazy busy with theatre stuff.)  I was paired up with Amy Merrill, whom I’ve known for a long time, but I’d never had a chance to work with her.  After the initial meeting at Doyle’s pub, we headed out for IHOP, just like I did last year.  It’s the perfect spot for Mad Dash writing–lots of sugar, coffee, and they’re open all night.  Plus it’s never too crowded.   Chocolate chip pancakes did the trick for me.  Amy was much more sophisticated, going for the crepes.

We kept plugging away at a script, and by 1:30 am, we had a ten-minute play called Sanctuary, about a landscaper and her customer–who is not pleased that he can still see and hear his neighbors, despite the urban sanctuary he was promised. Since the World Cup was in full swing, there were plenty of soccer references, too (the landscaper made an unfortunate bet on one of the games).

After a little sleep, we were paired up with our director, Derek Fraser, and our cast, Chris Larson and Jordan Clark. They were an immensely talented trio, and Amy and I sat half-awake though rehearsal, as they turned our midnight ramblings into an actual play. I love how the 24-hour play festivals highlight the essential elements of the rehearsal process–there is initial blind fumbling and excitement, then questions, attempts at answers, and then plunging ahead in 3-dimensions, and learning lines, all as curtain time looms.

They labored away all day, and by 8pm, they were ready.  And so were all the teams–8 new plays were birthed in a frenzy of activity at the Cambridge YMCA theatre, and played to a sold-out, appreciative crowd.  It was a night with the magic of theatre on full display, thanks to the dedication of dozens of artists and the organizational skills of Fresh Ink and Interim Writers.