Someone commented that I must have a lot of patience during the second act. I am not in the second act and hang around the greenroom until bows. I had to consider this conjecture. Patience implies some act of endurance, a weary drudge one must go through, fishing. Patience has nothing to do with my role in the second act as ghost of the greenroom and, mostly, quiet observer. I love the second act.
The green room of the second act is a play itself which I am both audience to and actor in. The entrances and exits are all as well timed as those onto and off of the stage. The unwritten script gives room for any new witticism but is also comfortable in its familiarity.
Like the play going on a courtyard away, there are ensemble scenes and solo scenes. The first moments of the second act are wild onstage consequently the greenroom is quiet. From inside you can hear the monitor that is positioned just outside the stage door from which the sounds of the fighting, and then more distinctly the Prince’s resonate and angry voice drift to where I sit. Then the music for the scene change starts playing and Juliet will walk on stage for one of her more well-known monologues. No one in the green room will be able to hear. The fight is over and everyone trickles in from the blackness.
Sean will enter smiling or talking happily, a giant wound in his side, and this off-stage show I am privy too continues. Sean will go to the coffee machines. Dakota and Ben, fellow interns, head over to the corner with the computer where, until their next scene, they will discuss and joke about prank calling some business or other, which they have yet to do, or look up pictures of giant pumpkins. There is talk about how the fight went. James begins his transformation from Tybalt to Apothecary by dutifully applying makeup to the bottom of his feet. He rubs his feet together to make them look dirty and smiles inviting me to join in some joke about this application. I cannot, having never learned proper stage makeup technique. This seems like a perfectly legitimate method to me and, I am sure, it looks just fine.
Inevitably, someone, usually but not limited to Chris or James, brings up the topic of Mexican food which seems an inexhaustible mine of conversation — different little Mexican restaurants with different burritos and tacos. They will compare and revel in the fact that they go to the same places. There are stories of Mexican food when they were young, waxing reminiscent of burritos consumed long ago and then burritos to hopefully be consumed very soon.
Kevin, not onstage, offers up jokes and advice on juggling, going around calling every one kid-o. Durwood, just when you think he is completely absorbed in his own little world of an iPod laughs and adds a sarcastic joke of his own. They will talk about what they would say if the impressionable interns weren’t here and then grin knowingly at each other. There will be references to pop culture of a bygone age, which I will be told I am too young to understand and which will usually be true.
People will enter and exit. One of the climaxing moments I had come to rely on was Howard entering to put on his heavy black funeral coat on those hot days — such sacrifice for the art as he faces the mirror and dabs away beads of sweat. Of course this last week it has cooled down considerably and the scene is lacking the emotional depth it once had.
This is the show I watch every night and it never fails to intrigue me. In the end the greenroom is deserted by even me for curtain calls but it will fill up to brimming quickly after. Even Erin and Michael, Juliet and Romeo respectively, can join us then after the show is done.
It’s a different play back here than it is over there during the second act. Over there on stage people are dying and crying and kissing and yelling. Here it is a different story all together, almost scripted but not quite, and, unlike the play onstage, this one ends happily.
Kristin Perkins (Intrepid intern playing role of Petra)