We brought on a talented and lovely director, Richard Israel. Some of the cast members from our October readings were available, but many were tied up with other shows and their own busy lives. In fact, our first "Rebecca", Lauren Shealy, was pregnant (and is now Mom to a beautiful little girl). But we put together another terrific cast and began rehearsing for our next phase of Part of the Plan. As an aside, our first “Sean” was going to be out of the country, but we were able to cast someone who’d been highly recommended: singer-songwriter and actor Harley Jay. Harley spent three years on Broadway playing “Mark” in Rent. His soulful rendition of “Leader of the Band” (with Laurence Juber on guitar) can be found by clicking here.
Once again, the Greenway Court Theatre served as our home for rehearsals and the first reading on June 18th. We filled the house and had the pleasure of welcoming some significant players in the world of theatre, film, and television. Warren Adams and Brandon Victor Dixon, co-producers of our upcoming showcase in NY, flew in so they could see the project on its feet. Their experience of Part of the Plan that night made them even more passionate, and we all began to strategize our New York City showcase, which would take place in the fall.
The following morning, the cast, crew, and creative team drove to San Diego to present Part of the Plan to artistic directors and staff from regional theatres who came to town for the annual Theatre Communications Group conference. We were able to present the show to multiple regional theatres, a wonderful opportunity given the fact that we want to further develop our show at one of these theatres.
After a rooftop reception and cast party atop the Tenth Avenue Arts Center in the heart of downtown San Diego, we returned home to LA, took a week to rest and recover, then went back to work on the book. With fresh eyes, we began the process of reimagining certain elements of the show. It ‘s always a challenge for writers to let go of moments we’ve fallen in love with. But we know we have to be tough on ourselves, and make sure that every detail, every moment, serves the story. In this rewrite, we lost lines, scenes, and even Pearl, one of our beloved characters.
The rest of the summer was all about refining the book and coordinating the upcoming showcase in New York, which was set for early November. Once it was confirmed that we would present Part of the Plan in New York City, the theatre gods smiled on us and we scored Tony-nominated director and choreographer, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, and the brilliant Broadway musical director Michael Moricz. It was time to go to back to New York, where we would find the perfect cast…
- Karen Harris