Wednesday, September 25, 2013

You don't have to be crazy, but it helps

The first LOGON rehearsals, according to company lore, took place in Ed Spitz's living room.  It wasn't long, however, before the group outgrew that venue, and we eventually found a home: the Beer Sheva Mental Health Center, fondly known to locals as "the psychiatri". 

So yes, we rehearse in a psychiatric hospital.  It's a warm, homey, welcoming environment.

Come on in, pull up a plastic chair!

Well ok, maybe it's not.  But honestly, the MHC has been very good to LOGON, giving us researsal spaces in both a large and a small auditorium as well as storage space for costumes, scenery and props.  The security folks at the entrance get to know us ("Opera?") and so do some of the long term residents of the wards. Over the years we've had occasional "fans" from among the patients who would come and sit quietly, enjoying the rehearsals.  One gentleman in particular would always stop to thank me when we met on the walkways, and ask how the show is coming along.  

The real fun will come later, when we start rehearsing with bits and pieces of costumes.  You can picture the scene:  during our break, a small group of us heads up to the coffee machine in the front lobby. Depending on the year, we might be dressed as flappers.  Or cowboys & Native Americans.  Or turn-of-the-previous-century merchant marines.  Or silverware. [Seriously, last year I was a fork]. Bewildered visitors to the hospital can only stare and wonder if we've all escaped from the wards, not to mention that we're probably jabbering away in English, as if we were in Boise Idaho instead of Beer Sheva.    

Did you think i was kidding about the silverware?

People who hear about LOGON - how we rehearse two, three, four evenings per week; how we build and paint the scenery ourselves; how we all help to pack up the show and load the trucks at one am after performances across the country (and then get up the next morning to go to work)  - often ask us, "How much do you get paid for performing in the show"?  And then we tell them that we don't get paid, that in fact, we pay membership dues of 1000 NIS every year for the priviledge.  That's when they look at us, and we know they're thinking - 'these people are crazy'.  And THAT is when we know, deep in our hearts, that we have found the perfect place to rehearse.  We are home.  

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