One of the really great things about “sitting in” on the rehearsals for my two upcoming one-act plays (see Willapa Players link in sidebar) is the constant, and admittedly somewhat steep, learning curve.

For starters, I’d never written a play before last fall. I’d also never worked “backstage” on the settings, lights, costumes, or any of the myriad of details that must be attended to in order to pull off a successful performance.

During the past month I have been the proverbial “fly on the wall,” watching how the words I wrote are transformed into a piece of true theatrical entertainment. The two directors, Liz McCollum and LaRayne Watts, have been most generous with their time and expertise, and most patient with my total lack of knowledge about this whole process.

The directors and cast have helped me feel “a part of it all” as the pieces have come together. I have felt privileged to be asked my input on costuming, set design, and line delivery. I’ve occasionally been the “prompter” as the actors have first gotten “out of book.” I even got onstage for the first (and second) time in my life to read the lines for two women who could not make it to rehearsal.

And tonight I’ll get to play the part of “Paul,” the diesel mechanic from Springfield, Illinois, who loves his NASCAR and wonders why his wife insisted they go on a silly Mississippi Riverboat Dinner Cruise. It will be fun to read his lines in his absence, but don’t think for a moment I’d ever actually want to be in front of an audience anytime soon. I’m the playwright. And today, that’s my very favorite thing to be.