It's always a bittersweet feeling to tear down the set and release the cast & crew for the final time in a run like this. This show demanded a lot of us, emotionally as well as physically, and we here at the Playground feel like everyone more than rose to the occasion, so in some ways we were more than ready to go home, crawl into bed, and not come out until Minnesota finally declared winter over. Still, when you have a team of people who meet challenges head on, get along fabulously, and do a fantastic job, "good-bye" is never exactly welcome.
We are especially proud of how well our audiences responded to this show. For those who missed it, Sans Merci covers a lot of tough topics--most notably, sexual assault and murder.
It does this through a sadly non-traditional format: from the eyes of three women. Female characters deal with these things frankly, and with little apology for their feelings or frankness. It is always remarkable to us, when we bill ourselves as a queer & feminist company, to realize how few scripts actually take place from the point of view of women--let alone queer ones, let alone ones that do not feel guilty to responding to human tragedies in human ways.
This show was a triumph for us not only because of how our company and contracted artists handled the material, but because of how our audience did. It is an atypical show, after which people stood in the lobby talking to us for long periods of time. Our first talkback was particularly successful, as we delved headfirst into not only rape culture, but the acting & coping methods one develops when dealing with such things. I guess what I'm rambling on to say, the point of this--is to say thank you.
Thank you to the audience who came to a daring, dark show. Thank you to reviewers who loved this piece. Thank you to the actors who took these already lively characters and made them three times as good as we ever could have imagined---and of course, thank you to Original Works Publishing, Gadfly company members, and our beloved, BELOVED donors and sponsors for even making it possible. Hopefully it was a process everyone got something worthwhile out of--we know we did.
(Partially speaking for my business-partner-in-crime and director of this show, Immanuel Elliott)