Waiting Room areaphoto by Ted Klyce
The depot was built in 1923 and was in operation until 1971. I was familiar with the front part of the depot the Head House where the Christos is located and where I used to have lunch at the LeeAnn Chins back in the 1980s. But I never knew about the waiting room area, newly renovated, which had been used by the U.S. Post Office for many years. It was now going to be opened for use as a transit hub for trains, buses, bikes, taxis and the light rail. It was a huge space, probably twice as big as the front area, and we got to rehearse and play in it all week.
Waiting Room area
photo by Ted Klyce
Being involved in a well-organized production is like a gift. With director Sam Johns, and Production Manager Birdie Freitag, the rehearsal process worked liked a well-oiled machine. Telsche Thiessen found all the costumes and had been researching the 1920-40s for several months. Core artists Barbara Berlovitz, Charles Campbell, Emily Gastineau, and Billy Mulvaney provided direction in the acting and choreography sequences. There were over 40 of us involved in this production.
At dress rehearsal we got into our costumes and everyone was transformed. For some reason the clothes that people put on - the dresses, the shoes, the hats and coats - they seemed to define the people who wore them. We were not all a bunch of millennium, jean-wearing folks coming from work; we were travelers, army personnel, fine ladies and gentlemen.
On Saturday morning I have no idea what the politicians and speakers said about the project or how they introduced the event. All I know is that when the curtain came down, and we finished our short acting/dance sequence to Sing Sing Sing, the people came poring in. And they kept coming. And coming.