Today was the fifth performance of The Insanity of Mary Giraud. Its hard to explain how some performances can go. Its an incredible feeling like you are riding a wave or sometimes a roller coaster. The play becomes a ride and all of the players, passengers. Momentum carrying you through, but nothing goes wrong, or the small things that do are recovered, with no effort, not a breath lost in hesitation, a fleck of dust in a well oiled machine. You become the play and it becomes your life, for brief seconds at a time like you’ve lived here your entire life.
It has been an incredible run so far. Three great reviews in the major newspapers here. A full page article in the Lagniappe. Good sized audiences, even during a busy season with Superbowl here and Mardi Gras! Matt Story directed, Monica R Harris assistant directed. Great players! All interesting and unique. The story is dark, about a woman put away by her husband into an lunatic asylum for not knowing her place, not knowing her duties. Apparently this happened a lot, as men became legal guardians of their wives in the late 1700’s. She is tormented by 5 furies who laugh at her and taunt her. Each fury, wears a mask of a sea creature of some sort. There’s an eel, angler fish, octopus, jelly fish(me), and a lion fish. It takes place in the depths of her subconscious. It is seems to me that she is already insane from the start and she is witnessing moments of clarity.
The furies have very few lines all alone but they are onstage the whole time and are used to bring the individual scenes of memories together to tell a story. The furies have parts of each line. It has been very difficult to learn the lines because sometimes you just have a “yes” or a “Mary” and you have to remember these little bits which come out of thin air at first. I had to record the scenes so I could practice off book. There was no way to memorize the lines because you couldn’t hide your line from the other people’s line to try and memorize it. You always saw it and therefore didn’t know if you really knew it or had looked at it. I think recording it worked best because it became like a song. I just had to sing it.