We had a grand closing. The kind of closing you can only dream about. The kind of closing engendered by getting rained out the night before closing, and suddenly all you've got is this one night to bring it all home. 238 souls in attendance.

All closings, as I've said before, are bittersweet, this one especially so, as I knew full well that several of my castmates were not pleased with this production, and I myself had ample cause (see below) to be dissatisfied with my own performance. But in spite of all and everything, I love this play desperately, and I am very proud of what we all brought to this place, everyone digging deep and pulling out the best and the brightest they had to offer.

There was a moment, early in Act I, when my face is buzzing as my voice opens up with the first set speeches, the blood is up and the pulse of the verse takes it up a step, and I was immediately and keenly aware of how scared I was. Othello is defending himself carefully at this moment; the Duke and the Senate of Venice, assembled in haste to deal with a rising Turkish threat to Venetian possessions in the eastern Mediterannean, have called on Othello to lead a relief expedition to Cyprus when, quite suddenly, Senator Brabantio accuses Othello of witchcraft in seducing his only daughter. So. Yes, a degree of fear is appropriate for Othello here, and this is present in the careful measure of the verse and the demonstrable consideration Othello gives to his own words. Paulmonster the Actor is scared, though, because he's bloody well playing Othello in front of a growing crowd of strangers and loved ones and his nerves are shot from weather-watching and book-slinging and various rehearsal regimes.

The verse holds me just as I hold the verse, a life-preserver in an ocean of emotions. The currents buffet and swarm around me, but it is the reassuring thread and cadence of Othello's passionate intelligence which carry me through from Act I all the way to the bloody end.

No one was hurt, nothing caught fire that shouldn't have, thank goodness. We had some interference from helicopters and the like late in Act IV, but that's the way of it.

I will be unspooling more of this business as time and temper permits; I slept twelve hours that night and I'm still exhausted by Othello, now two days since closing.

My warmest thanks to everyone--those who came, those who commented here, those who think ill of me--you were all instrumental to the construction of this exquisite sandcastle we built. I'm in your debt.


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