On Wednesday night, TOS was up and running again with a performance at Penn’s Landing followed by a champagne reception on board the tall ship Gazela. It was our first show back after three days off, and we hit the ground running with a challenging space. We had the river behind us, a fountain just to the right of us, and a very shallow playing space in front of us. Barring the hazard of a small trail of oil on the stage (on which Petruchio and I took turns sliding), the space was a nice one. When the show started, we were practically blinded by the sun setting over the audience. After the sun went down completely, we started catching some of the breeze off the river. The temperature dropped, the air improved, and the entire cast could stop squinting like shifty disreputable characters.
When we squinted out into the crowd, we saw a lot of familiar and friendly faces out there. Since it was the first (and nicest) of our center city Philly performances, it was a popular one for our friends and loved ones. I saw people from the summer Shakespeare show two years ago, I saw people from Flashpoint Theatre, and I even saw a buddy of mine that I worked with almost six years ago when I was at Villanova. My parents saw the show last week, but since they came down for the champagne fundraiser, they were wandering around the edge of the audience for most of the second act. The group at the tall ship, I think, sponsored the whole event, and we lucked out because it was a really nice evening to be on the river. It was a nice night to be back on set with everyone, too. I’ve dreaded returning to some shows after a few days off, but with this one I was looking forward to seeing everyone again and playing around.