This summer, LateNite Theatre—the campus theater group devoted to producing original student productions with a flair for the bizarre—took its signature after-hours style off-campus to the Manhattan Repertory Theatre with Next Door.
Next Door is a program of two plays, written by LateNite and Kings Crown Shakespeare Troupe veteran Jacob Rice, CC ’12, and directed by me. The first, The Hallway, is a farce set in a college dorm. The second, Merry Meeting, is a 30-minute cage match of emotional and physical rock-em-sock-em between two couples.
For the past month, it’s been an absolute thrill and my pleasure to direct these two plays. The cast is an ensemble of young actors from on and off-campus, and the production team is entirely composed of Columbia students, or like me, recent alums. And yes, we too were sponsored in part by the Arts Initiative.
Just Monday night, we moved house from the small and cramped Kent classrooms where we squatted free rehearsal space, to the small and intimate Manhattan Repertory Theatre, housed in the Times Square Arts Center.
We’ve been in tech all week and we open tonight at 9PM, so my brain has been much too scattered to write the cohesive blog entry that CUArts asked me for. So here, instead, are some of my stray last-minute thoughts from the 24 hours before Next Door’s opening performance.
- Hallway is a traditional doors farce. The theater has no doors. Ask venue manager if we can tear down his upstage wall.
- Note the actors to behave crazier on the discourse of “what makes a psychopath.”
- Operative word in “donkey nut sack” is “nut.” Note the actor.
- Ask makeup to get more blood spatter on Khalid’s face, neck, and chest, otherwise Alice’s line “There’s blood everywhere” makes no sense.
- Music during scene transition: Cake’s “Love You Madly” or Magnetic Fields’ “I Think I Need A New Heart”?
- How the hell does every single Columbia production get Mill Korean to buy an ad in their program? Whatever. They are some 80 blocks north of the theater.
- More blood on the alarm clock.
- During fight call tomorrow, we need to run the make-out/strangulation/eyeball-grab sequence from Merry Meeting and the Kennelly crotch grab from Hallway.
- Per venue agreement, no photo call before house opens. Backstage photos will have to do.
- Ask actors and stage-management if Khalid can be bound and gagged at pre-show, rather than doing it onstage. (Wish he could just enter unconscious…)
- More blood on Emily’s costume. More blood on Adam’s hands.
- Can makeup create a pepperspray-all-over-the-eyes effect for Brian? I just googled that and it looks awesome.
- Opening stage picture for MM: Is Ems too naked or not naked enough?
- Remember to reserve front-row seats for Mom and Dad
Written by Jacob Rice
Directed by Sam Reisman
Manhattan Repertory Theatre
303 West 42nd Street (3rd Floor)
Wed, July 28 @ 9PM, Fri, July 30 @ 9PM, Sat, July 31 @ 9PM
Tickets: $20. Call (646) 329-6588 to reserve your ticket!
Sam Reisman, CC ’10