December 23, 2003

the public lounge

Posted at 03:31 AM Correspondence

Some of the email in my sent mail log jogs memories in ways which are difficult to explain. Take this one, for example:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Anne Weiler"
To: "Friends"
Sent: Friday, August 25, 2000 7:40 AM
Subject: the public lounge

> Blair, Harriet, and I are going to the Public Lounge around 7 tonight. If
> you're in the 'hood, stop by. Here's the scoop:
> -17th and Main, where Cafe Quetzal used to be
> -owned by the same people as Lugs (further down Main)
> -pitchers of beer
> -simple comfort food--chilli dogs, potato chips with French Onion dip,
> burgers, mac and cheese (but all vegetarian)
> Anne

From: "Patrick Jennings"
To: "Anne Weiler"
Sent: Friday, August 25, 2000 11:20 PM
Subject: Re: the public lounge


Man, I coulda used one-a-dose beers.

While you were at the suds and chatter I was painting a bookshelf, dressing a fold-out cot to appear as a tubular-steel prison cell bed, foaming the underside of the steel seat of our chair (so it wouldn't resonate like a gong everytime it's moved), and filing the legs of the chair so it wouldn't rock. Gotta love the theatre! Up next: filling the bookshelf with styrofoam books.

Hard to believe we open in two weeks...kinda scary. The last rehearsal ended up as a script analysis session. One of the actors, Troy Yorke, had one of those flashes of brilliance. The rewrite that resulted clarified not just the final 10 pages he had re-arranged, but finally smoothed the arc from middle to end that had been so abrupt, and was concerning us all. The whole thing makes sense now, well, at least to us it does. Other opinions are just a couple weeks away...

After the fest, I'll have a party and invite all the friends who haven't seen much of me for a year (there are plenty, and I miss you all). In the meantime, I hope I'll see you at the Fringe.


2000 was a heady year, on several fronts. None was more significant than the play, Prisoners, which premiered at the 2000 Vancouver Fringe Festival. No experience before or since has been so fulfilling, so energising, as writing and producing that play.

You know those times when you feel completely connected to everything in the world? Those moments when everything makes sense, including your place in the world? Skin tingles, even the smallest of observations feels fraught with import. Most people I've talked to have felt that way at some time in their life.

Imagine feeling that way 24/7 for weeks. And the connection to all and everything was real. I didn't so much write the play as discover it, or allow it to discover me. Synchronicity directed all events, many of which provided insights and direction in writing, production, rehearsal. It all coalesced in a series of perfect lines.

I can't possibly describe to you how it all felt, other than to say it felt literally devine.

All that will not seem apparent in the post above. But Troy's moment was just one example of "the right thing coming at the right time." We were all deep into the script by this time, but Troy's in-the-moment reorganisation was so complex (and complete) I had to get him to repeat it several times and write the whole convoluted arrangement down. Which is kind of odd, given that we all saw the perfection of it as he told it the first time.

I should write about that whole summer sometime. It was extraordinary. But I'm afraid I'd be able to offer no more illumination than this small post already has. Either you understand me because you've shared the experience, or I'll never be able to describe it to you.


Presently listening to:
We Live As We Dream - Gang of Four - Songs of the Free (03:36)

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