Late last August, as I staggered into the homestretch of a stressful and frenetically busy season of reviewing, I took two days off from my day job to do something I REALLY wanted to do – go to the theatre. I was one of about 100 people who saw all five parts of Tina Packer’s “Women of Will: The Complete Journey” over a period of forty-eight hours beginning Wednesday night and ending late Friday afternoon. The setting was one of the rehearsal/meeting rooms in the Bernstein Center for the Performing Arts, which was rapidly rearranged and redecorated for each performance. And while my fellow audience members enjoyed lovely luncheon or went into Lenox to catch a meal in between the morning and afternoon shows on Thursday and Friday, I sat huddled in the stage managers’ office, typing frantically, subsisting on Diet Coke and Rice Krispie Treats. Being a theatre critic is soooo glamorous!
The results of my work can be read HERE.
They and this comprehensive May 2011 press release from Shakespeare & Company will give you a thorough overview of the history and the content of this five-part experience. While I do joke about the special kind of theatrical insanity that makes people like me sit through 12 ½ hours of theatre in two days, seeing the show in this format was physically and mentally exhausting. There was a Woodstock-type comradery amongst us “Five-Parters” in the audience. (Some sissies came for just one or two parts!) But if we were tired just watching, you can imagine how punch-drunk exhausted Pack, Nigel Gore, director Eric Tucker, and the stage managers and tech crew were. PHEW!