The “Actress”?

I dreamed about the new production of Our Town.

The dream was that moment when the results of the auditions are posted on the bulletin board.

I should have confusing dreams about this moment. Twenty-seven years ago, I did not tryout for the play in the spirit of an open audition. The student director, beloved Ann Klotz, told me this year at our 25th reunion that I arrived for the audition and said, “I am auditioning only for the role of the Stage-Manager.” She was reasonably upset by this preposterous, presumptuous audition requirement. At 47, I don’t remember having said such a rude, uncooperative thing.

Anyway, back to the dream.

I look up and see a major actor — I can’t quite place him, handsome fellow — standing nearby. He has obviously just been cast as the Stage-Manager. Everyone is reacting as if that’s how it should be.

I look up at the sheet. Yes, there is a list of the roles, matched with the names of the actors. Major Actor’s name — River Phoenix? Hugh Grant? — is beside “Stage-Manager.” All the other roles are listed beneath it.

But, wait, there is a role listed at the top. It’s a role I’ve never seen in the play: “Actress.” What’s that? There’s no role called “Actress” in the play. There’s “Mrs. Gibbs” and “Mrs. Webb.” And “Woman in the Balcony” and “Lady in the Box.” And “Mrs. Soames.” But there is no “Actress.”

And — whoa, I’ve been cast in the role of “Actress.”

I remember, in the dream, being a little disappointed. And that was the entire dream, just a moment in time.

What to make of it?

  1. It’s clearly a gender-bender dream. I’m not sure that Grover’s Corners is that kind of town. Not as far as Wilder tells us, anyway. I hope we don’t take Our Town in that direction.

  2. It’s a reminder to me to audition only for the role of the Stage-Manager. I really don’t want to be the “Actress” in Our Town.

  3. It must be time to move forward. We need to prepare to hold some auditions.

When is Our Town? Possibly, Autumn 2008. Maybe sooner. It’s still to be scheduled.