Resurrecting the Redroom

It's been abot a year since we wrote a Redroom.  In 2008, when we started the Redroom, we were together all the time.  That summer we were rehearsing Romeo and Juliet and running the Redroom every week--a new show every week, but it was okay because any downtime became a brainstorming session.  The theatre was tingling with creative energy--there was a big cast full of new company members with new ideas--and the director had done an excellent job of making us a cohesive unit.  Redroom scripts poured out of us.

But there's no way we could maintain that kind of momentum.  Also, at the end of last summer, Jack, my second in command, went off to grad school, I lost another one of my writers to real life as, and I was pregnant.  We decided to put Redroom aside for awhile.

As time passed, I got bigger and bigger, and the break was doing us all some good; the combination of these two things got us thinking and we started to plan the Redroom for Kelli's Baby.  The original idea was to have the cast put together dances, songs, skits and readings and then invite me to watch, but we all decided that it would be really funny to have me waddling around on stage.  We would tape the show and one day present it to my child a kind of demented gift.  They were also secretly planning to have my baby shower during the show.

But then we got 700 plays for SPF and had to move that production date from January to March. Then the only date that we could find that would work for the Redroom was either the Saturday before my scheduled C-section or the same night as the big MassMoCA dance party that the cast wanted to attend.   I was secretly pleased.  Writing, producing, and coordinating a show at 8 months pregnant was not going to be as easy as I had thought it would be when I was a lot less pregnant, and that would be on top of the rehearsals and the performances.  Needless to say, we called it off.

So the Mommy Redroom brainstorming session happened Monday night.  In some ways, it was like most other Redroom writers' rooms with wild ideas, overlapped conversations, readings of drafts, but in other ways, it was very different.  My baby was passed from lap to lap, continually adored and played with until he got fussy.  I ran the meeting while bouncing him.  I listened to skits while sweating under a blanket while he breastfed.   And we called it an early night so I could put him to bed, but in the end we had the makings of a script and a baby-friendly rehearsal schedule.

The only problem was I stayed up way too late that night making revisions, writing new skits and co-ordinating schedules, buzzing with creative energy.  Part of the buzz was getting back into something I've always loved to do after a nice long break.  Part of it was reclaiming some part of me that has been dormant, a part of me I had worried about losing after having a baby.  And part of the buzz was a moment of finding balance between motherhood and theatre.

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