Exhausting. Sitting here after our first showing of “Don’t Drink the Water,” I can say that after all the work involved, the craziness of memorizing lines and blocking, and the fear of no show at all really puts this play into perspective. It was something incredible, done by an amazing group of individuals.
Some back info – this was the CGA Drama Fall Show. Normally the Spring Musical gets a lot more Public Affairs attention, and the play has always been overshadowed. Last year, in “Murder Runs in the Family”, we were able to garner some awareness, and it went very successfully. This year, the exact same occurred, and after the first night, it’s proved that a little thing can go a long way.
So here’s the story. In an American Embassy behind the Iron Curtain, a family of tourists, the Hollanders, rush inside to escape the Communist police who are chasing them. It’s not much of a refuge, as the ambassador is absent and his son, Axel Magee (me!), now in charge, has been expelled from dozens of countries for his questionable abilities. Nevertheless, the characters carefully and frantically plan an escape, while Axel and Susan Hollander even find time to fall in love! The story is a comedic farce, and is really funny.
Practice was one hour a night starting in early September, and from the get-go we knew it was going to be a blast. If you think memorizing the Running Light is difficult, try memorizing over 200 lines! It’s tough stuff. All eight to ten of us actors and actresses had a great time working day in and out on accents, physical actions, and getting our characters down. We were just about ready to go…when Hurricane Sandy struck. The base got hit bad, so we assumed that we would have to cancel or at least postpone it. But thanks to the crews on base, they got everything cleaned up and working real quick, and we were still set to go!
Last night was the first show and tonight is the last one. Personally, I feel like we should do more shows, but the Academy really isn’t an artsy school. The play is for cadets interested in the arts who really want to get out there and show what they got. I’ve always loved acting; it’s one of the things I’ve really enjoyed. This was my first time with the lead, and it was amazing. Everyone on the crew, the other actors, and the audience really made it quite a show. I’m excited to do it again tonight! All our hard work comes down to an hour and a half of laughs, insanity, and an attempt at ESCAPE! Axel Magee out!
More about Sam.