Staring Your Future in the Face with a Smile: Titus opens!

A dispatch from this weekend’s Titus Andronicus opening, by Stage Management Intern Cordelia Miller.

I’ve never been so overwhelmed by so many emotions on an opening night. As I got in my car to drive to my last tech rehearsal, I actually started to cry because I thought, “I don’t want to open, because opening means closing!” But then I remembered that this isn’t college theater: I’ve got three more weeks of glorious Titus to go. So I smiled.

Opening night was exhilarating. The energy in the green room and the dressing rooms was completely different from the previews. Of course, we were all nervous about the impending rain, but the theater gods smiled on us, giving us a dry performance. By opening, we had smoothed out the kinks and determined the most efficient paths for quick changes, prop handoffs, and set changes, giving me (as part of the run crew) the opportunity to breathe around this amazing piece we were putting forth. I even almost had the chance to watch the show, by which I mean that I could truly listen to the scenes and pair them with what I’d seen in rehearsals. Backstage, I couldn’t have asked for more.

I’ll never forget the feeling as I emerged from the green room to go to the opening night party after we had struck the stage. I turned the corner and met music, food, drink, and incredibly happy people. Everyone was hugging, smiling, and chatting; the sense of catharsis was palpable.

Something awesome: being in the middle of a life-changing experience and realizing it. Six months ago, the idea that I’d be working on a show at Cal Shakes was not even a remote possibility. I never thought that I could be here. All of the reality hit me double as Jessica Richards and Susie Falk, associate artistic director and managing director, respectively, made their speeches at the party. I cried again realizing just how amazing it is to be a part of this Titus family here at Cal Shakes. The joy that I feel being a piece of this machine is inexplicable. It’s worth waiting ten years. I am staring my future in the face, and I can only return a smile. It is inspiring to know that you’ve chosen the right path.

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