"It's been a busy couple of weeks. To be honest, it has been madness."
Claire Moyer is directing two shows at once: Mary Rose, the Philadelphia Artists' Collective production at the Woodlands Mansion and Cemetery, ending on Saturday, Sept. 22; and David GreiMDavid Greig's Monster in the Hall, Oct. 3-21 at Inis Nua at the Drake.
Moyer's summer illustrates the crazy life of the working theater artist. It makes you tired just listening. "Over the summer, the production side, design meetings, auditions, totally overlapped," Moyes says, "and then came the first week of September." Ah, yes: That week saw afternoon rehearsals and evening shows for Mary Rose, at Woodlands south of University City, and the first week of rehearsals for Monster, back over the Schuylkill and into Center City.
How on earth … ? "Luckily," Moyes says, "they're two very different shows and take up different parts of your brain." Excuse me, but how is that lucky? "The two plays were always at different points of the process, with very different content," she says. "While we were still playing around with character and music with Monster, we were making hard and fast decisions with Mary." The two plays don't run at the same time, so that's a blessing of sorts.
Mary Rose, part of Philly Fringe, is by J.M. Barrie of Peter Pan fame. PAC is performing Mary at the splendid Woodlands mansion, acts 1 and 3 inside and act 2 outside, as in the cemetery. "It's a very, very professionally, conventionally structured play, with a pretty strong fourth wall built in," Moyer says.
Monster, which will be played in a black-box theater space, "shifts between times and locations in a split second, goes from real life to the mind of a 16-year-old girl, go go go, music, pop cultural references, all in 90 minutes, a totally different relationship to the audience."
Oh, OK, that sounds really simple. We're still tired.