by Nikki Hoffpauir
August 15, 2014
The day for us to travel to Ireland has arrived and brings with it excitement, nerves, stress, and the general chaos that goes with trying to be away from home for almost 4 weeks.
For me, this whole tour thing is a very surreal experience. A chance to travel overseas, to work on the craft we love with some incredible talents, in some amazing venues, to a very unique audience. Just a bit over a month ago, we started rehearsing A Few Good Men. I was very fortunate to have worked with the original cast as the assistant stage manager , where I cut my teeth at Keegan. I cannot explain how much I loved that show; a show that I never actually saw because I was backstage doing costume changes during every performance. I thought the cast was pretty phenomenal so you can imagine how auditions and that first read-through for the Ireland tour cast went. “That’s not the way Kevin/Jon/Brad did it!” was the sort of thought running through my head. You see, we have 6 returning actors (1 in a role he didn’t previously play- James was a variety of soldiers initially but is our Ross now), so we have 7 new actors stepping in. I still do miss the folks from AFGM-US but AFGM 2.0 quickly started winning me over. This is an amazing group and it’s clear we’re going to have a blast and put on a fantastic show. So with much anticipation, a lot of nerves, and way too many things yet to do, we packed up the costumes, props, sound gear, actors and tech folks on Thursday.
And we’re off.
So…we survived the flight. Quite a bit of moderate turbulence but for a nonstop flight from Dulles to Dublin, no real complaints. Everyone made it through customs and bags arrived safe and sound. Success so far!
First stop, IKEA. As one does when one hits Irish soil… We needed to pick up seven or so military looking metal chairs to use in the show since apparently they couldn’t be bought online. Oh, Ireland IKEA. How very old school of you. Several folks got to enjoy a breakfast of hot dogs, so it was win win.
Brianna and Darius managed to not sleep the first 3 hours of our overnight flight, along with a couple of the rest of us, but rather than watch a movie, they decided to brainstorm a new game for us. The rules are still a moving target and were only partially fleshed out more on our 2.5 hr bus ride to Galway. Basically it involves certain actions of members of the group and the likelihood of things happening and a point system. For example, whenever Ian sings a song, it’s one point. Ian, our Lance Corporal Harold W. Dawson, and recent Hud from HAIR, breaks into song regularly…so this one is clearly a low point scorer. Everyone arriving at the theater on time as a group is clearly like spotting a unicorn so it’s an 8 pointer. Sleep deprivation and excitement clearly brings out the creativity in us.
The countryside is beautiful, a bit like driving through the heart of America with its farms and hills, but all very lovely shades of green. Cows and sheep are about all we’ve seen in the drive.
Most everyone said they’d contribute to the blog so you won’t have to put up with my voice all the time. Which is great because there are a lot of beautiful voices here. We’re lucky James is a photographer and will help document the trip for you folks back at home in pictures as well.