A Twist of Water


Posted by Stef Tovar on January 4, 2011

I’ve never blogged before.  Maybe it’s just the word “blogged” that gets me for some reason.  But I’ve never done it. Here’s my first shot at it…

Caitlin and Erica have done a great job of reaching out folks about TWIST from the writer/co-creator/director perspective in this blog.  As the Artistic Director of Route 66, I’ve really tried to stay out of their way and just be an actor on this play because the demands of the script require me to do so.  Plus, I got myself in trouble wearing too many hats on HIGH FIDELITY and didn’t catch up to the show until the week after it opened.  I underestimated it.  Not doing that again.

I’ve got support on this show with Katie Jeep and Blair Robertson spearing heading the producing.  We’ve got a great production team and company members Rita Vreeland and Matt Bonaccorso stage managing, so I’ve been able to just focus on this play.  So for this “blog”, I’ll be writing to you (whoever you are) as an actor documenting his process.  Here it goes…be gentle.

Personal.  So personal…

I just finished reading A TWIST OF WATER again.  Been working on it most of the week, and I’m prepping for a rehearsal this evening with Caitlin and Erica.

I’m sitting at my table sobbing.  Uncontrollably.

These two ladies had been telling me about TWIST for a while before I read it.  Erica would say, “So Caitlin wrote this play…you’re going to play Noah.”  Yeah I thought.  That’s nice of them.  As with many things for me it was a “I’ll believe it when I see it.”  And even then, with the script in my inbox, I didn’t fully commit to it.  It sat in there for a while, with Erica nudging me:  “Did you read it?”  “Not yet…been so swamped… but I will.”

Route 66 was set to do a reading of it.  I waited till WAY late in the game to read it, but after I did, I knew we had something special.  The reading was very successful and the packed room at Murphy’s Irish Bistro was extremely enthusiastic.  I had wished I was better prepared, but honestly—and I was lucky—it didn’t matter.  The material was so good that (when I stayed out of its way) it just carried me.  It reminded me of ALL MY SONS in this way.

I wasn’t sure why I was so affected by the script.  I mean, it’s incredibly moving and I’m excited for audiences to see it, but I was overcome with emotion.  Sobbing.  I had to stop several times and there were speeches and scenes that were very tough to get through.

I’m definitely someone who is in touch with his emotions.  Always have been.  As an actor, this is a bonus for sure—to be able to use “the well” when needed.  But I can recall (as actors relate real-life moments to those of their work) only a few times in my life where I was reduced to a sobbing mess and they were absolutely crushing moments for me.  Caitlin’s play is beautiful.  Why this visceral reaction?  And EVERY TIME I read or work on it?

Whatever the reason, it is going to be a tremendous challenge for me as an actor to keep that emotion in check.  For however true it may feel, I do not want to do the audience’s job for them by feeling all the emotion of the play.  That’s something that I’ve done before, admittedly.  But I have a huge amount of trust in my director who also knows me pretty well as a person, and will be able to tell me when too much is too much.

I just hope I can get through the damn show at this point…

There are songs I’ve had to perform that were tough to get through.  “Laura, Laura” from HIGH FIDELITY and 140X that I did for our benefit last year.  But this play.  This beautiful play.  Why are you so connected to my heart?  Yes, I’m a father.  Yes, I’ve had loss.  But it’s something else…

That’s the journey.  Can’t wait to work on discovering it.  I’m honored to be a part of this.



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