I’m always interested in how impressions get formed. I had the occasion today to speak to John Knapp, the Artistic Director for Richmond Triangle Players. Mr. Knapp has directed many fabulous productions for RTP and is currently preparing “Thrill Me,” which he asserts will be an intriguing and creepy departure for RTP. He mentioned in passing (and to be fair, possibly half in jest; it’s hard to gauge these things over the phone) that he realized that I didn’t have any great love for the stuff RTP did. This took me aback a bit. I tried to assure him that to a great degree I am ignorant of much of what RTP is doing because I haven’t had the chance to see one of their shows in so long.
This prompted me to look back into my archives and the last time I had written a review about an RTP production was an only mildly qualified rave review of “Breathe” in 2005 (which I made a point to mention again in my 2005 wrap-up column) and before that, an unqualified rave of “Santaland Diaries” in 2004. So where-for comes the idea that I’m down on RTP?
I know my former Style partner-in-criticism, Mr. Nickerson, was no RTP fan, judging from his reviews last year. And on the cyperpages of this blog I voiced some reservations in advance of the VCU-student led Christmas show last year and maybe some unkind second-hand comments about some recent RTP productions. Perhaps I’ve done so without enough qualifications (e.g., “the opinions expressed by those whose opinions I pass on are theirs and do not necessarily reflect the opinions – or lack thereof – of this author…”) But rest assured, I look forward to each RTP show I go to with as much fresh-faced eagerness as I approach any other show in town. Truth be told, my attitude about ANY show that I actually attend is usually pretty euphoric given that a night at the theater means a night I’m not overseeing bedtime for 2 cranky tweens and 2 obstinate pre-schoolers.
This reminds me of times in the past when folks at Chamberlayne Actors Theatre thought I was down on them (beware of what you say in line on opening night – you never know who might be listening) and leadership at Swift Creek Mill wouldn’t even talk to me. Those were giddy times indeed! I’m looking forward to 2007 and the sowing of additional mis-impressions…