Dress rehearsals are never the easy ones. Stop, start; stop. Start. Miss a cross; shake it off. Miss a line; pretend it didn’t happen. Don’t go back, don’t falter, remember your lines, ignore the lights, and ignore other people’s mistakes. Focus.
Rock, Speak, stand, cross stage left, Speak, stop. Turn, Speak, Listen, cross stage left vom, Wait.
TRISHA: (center) Listen Frances, I wholeheartedly support your right to live your life however you see fit. But you cannot exercise that right without extending the same courtesy to other people who might see differently than you do.
FRANCES: My religion happens to be very important, and I don’t want to listen to you criticize it.
TRISHA: Then leave. (cross stage left vom) I mean it, go someplace where people don’t have ideas. Where everyone is willing to trade their God-given intelligence for any old blind set of rules just because they don’t want the responsibility of making their own decisions. I’m sure you won’t have to go very war.
Wait, turn, cross center, pause.
TRISHA: (harshly) But don’t you dare tell me what I can and cannot talk about. You do nothave the right to do that.
I am listening to the lines and remembering what it means to be on stage. What it feels like to have a script in front of me, sighing heavily each time I forget the words, or trip over myself during a cross. I am sinking in to a couch whose history I wish I had never learned. I am smelling the maraschino cherries and green olives that Lily has been shoving into her mouth for the past five days. I am seeing the ridiculous way that Good BriAnna’s dress sits on the floor like a green and pink cupcake next to my feet. I am listening to Bad Briana drop her accent at the end of each line. I am remembering what it meant for me to be happy.
Camille Koosmann is a first year criminal justice student at Champlain College. She enjoys curling up with a cup of tea and her worn out copy of the Great Gatsby. She can be contacted at Camille.firstname.lastname@example.org.