So this is the wrap-up of my week in Omaha. I can’t say enough about how much fun I had and how much it’s recharged my batteries and gotten me excited about creating more theater. On Friday, the festival started to become what I think it wants to be. Most nights have been ending around 10, after a performance of an Albee or a Kopit work. Tonight, Tim S. directed a late-night staged reading of a Mac Wellman work-in-progress at a fringe theater in downtown Omaha.
It was fantastic. Like much of Mac’s work, it’s impossible to describe. Suffice it to say that the stage directions are a major character. There’s a dwarf in a fez, a crowd of thousands, and a talking car. And, as Mac said after the rousing ovation, “No good will come of it.”
Mac has been one of the true joys of the conference. He has an impish way of critiquing people’s plays by suggesting they read some play by some author so obscure we wonder if he isn’t making it up to send the writer on a wild goose chase. His master class was brilliant, with him telling everyone to write the impossible, to create a theater of wonder.
The conference ended with a gala, and then a bunch of us went off to find Omaha’s gay bar. When it closed at one (?), we made the artistic director of the aforementioned fringe theater let us in for boxed wine and hanging out onstage. A very late night, with a very early flight in the morning.