July 13 – 28, 2012
Five people. Four pros. Three murderers. Two lovers. One miscalculation. Vale's life just got complicated.
Written by Erica Smith
Produced by Baltimore's Mobtown Players
Director: Brent Englar
Producer: Caitlin Bouxsein
Stage Manager: Will Carson
Set and Costume Designer: Jessica Ruth Baker
Light Designer: William Quick
Special Effects: Lizzie Jump
Fight Director: Jack Sossman
Anders: Brian S. Kraszewski
Vale: Christopher Krysztofiak
Chestnut: Kate Shoemaker
Macy: Steven Shriner
Pierre: Katharine Vary
The Mobtown Playwrights Group, which I ran from 2010 to 2014, had the somewhat unwieldy mission of "giving playwrights an opportunity and a venue in which to workshop and produce new plays for an audience committed to the process of new play development in Baltimore." What MPG gave me is simpler: the opportunity to discover I enjoy directing—initially through staged readings, which I volunteered to direct as much because nobody else did as because I was eager to stretch my wings.
Erica Smith's hourlong heist play, Come Out and Say It, was the sixth reading I produced for MPG, and the fifth I directed. As I listened to each performance (a play selected for MPG received four public readings over two weekends), a strange giddiness possessed me. I was reciting lines with the actors; I was imagining sets and lights and blocking; I was falling in love. When Mobtown selected COASI for a full production that summer, asking someone else to direct was unthinkable.
Probably the main reason I have had such positive directing experiences is that I have been blessed with wonderful casts. COASI was no exception: Every rehearsal reminded me that the secret to directing is to cast good actors and then trust them. One day our lead, Chris, suggested we punctuate scenes with the sounds of passing trains. (The play is set in an old warehouse.) "As each train passes," Chris continued, "the lights in the room could flicker, and maybe go out." The play's ending suddenly crystalized for me. Final line: "Revenge." Train passes. Lights flicker. Blackout.
If you would like to license Come Out and Say It for production, please email Erica Smith.
All photos by Shannon Light