by Caitlin O’Neill
It is one week since A Doll’s House has ended and I still pick up on lines that pop into everyday discussion. Strike was a whirlwind, a quick physical catharsis. But because strike is so quick, the aftereffects of the show persist. All of a sudden, I have broad free moments; with swathes of time I should fill with intellectual pursuits or finishing my homework early. Contrarily, this time will most likely be spent reading arcane and chance articles on the web. There is much to be said for following a structured schedule, not the least of which is that everything becomes so engaging that the hours of missed sleep seem just a natural, small consequence of the bigger whole endeavor one is involved in.
However, I must admit there is one aspect of the show I am completely acclimated to not having. No more emails, which—as Taylor can vouch—I thoroughly detest. I was averaging upwards of 50 to 60 on Mondays and Tuesdays, though obviously not all were related to the A Doll’s House, but those did make up their own little quadrant. (For comparison’s sake, I received just 35 today).
I recognized over the course of the show that audiences did indeed affect performances. Sometimes raucous laughter butted into set patterns of speech, while other shows witnessed deepest quiet for no apparent cause. Audience composition—age, interest, and background with the subject matter—aided in these distinctions.
Some performances were harder than others. By Saturday or Sunday each week, we all started to feel the wear of long nights, but I think our showings still proved strong.
Perhaps not too strangely, by night’s end of our last performance, I was tuckered out. But the show was a success. As expected, the last weekend was packed, with people turned away, a somewhat regrettable sign of our success. If only there were a way to send those unlucky people who missed out on the last performance back to the first weekend! The beauty and curse of hindsight, I suppose. And so, the end of my semester’s part in a much larger and longer preparation cycle has come. With my newly acquired hindsight, I know my best decision at the beginning of the semester was to email Ellen about stage managing.