Wednesday, March 23, 2011
nobody safe here-2

In looking at a lot of old 'Proof Sheets' I have come across some wonderful pictures that I took back when my Three One Act plays, "Nobody Safe Here" were rehearsing and then playing, at Theatre West.....I wrote about one of the plays, "Jen The Hen", (in which dear Betty played me), just recently.....This play was about my mother's death.....It was the third of the three, as presented. The first one act was called "The Dressing Room" and it took place in a theatre Dressing Room as the two occupants are getting ready to do the play......The scene is between two young women who are in a play and share this dressing room. My idea was that we see them looking in the mirror through-out the action of the play---a very interesting and difficult task for the actresses playing these parts....They do their make-up and talk to one another all while looking into a dressing room mirror which, in fact, is not really there.....Charley Berliner, one of the most talented men I know, who is a brilliant Set Designer and Costume Designer---came up with the way to do this 'no mirror "mirror", and put the 'mirror' behind the actresses--it was actually a piece of Mylar that was mounted on a flat....Here below you see Charley and Chris Mandich measuring the area where the Mylar will go........ Charley was so enthusiastic about the plays---that in itself, was very gratifying....And because he was excited his creative juices were really flowing.....Here below, Chris and Charley taking off the outer plastic that was covering the Mylar to protect it, while in transit...... And below....Deirdre Meehan's daughter, Jennifer, helping Charley with the removal of the plastic covering.....You may remember I wrote about Deirdre in the earlier post...and it was great to have her young daughter helping us , too..... You can now see that the Mylar is very much like a real 'mirror'.....It is so very exciting to see your vision come to life as all the elements needed for a play, begin to come together...Theatre is a collaborative effort, and all the different 'artists' contributing to the, hopefully, one vision make the magic happen---in this case, Charley Berliner with his Set Design, assisted by Chris Mandich who 'realized' Charley's vision...... Above, Deirdre, who Directed "The Dressing Room", and is dressed in her costume for "A Play On Words", with Charley B. and Joanne Nail and Julie Rogers, the two young women who played the two actresses in the play.....You can see the lights that usually surround a dressing room mirror, reflected in the plastic that in this picture above, is still covering the Mylar mirror....and here below...Deirdre talking to her two actresses while standing on the set---you can see a few of the lights that surrounded the frame that pretended to be the dressing room mirror.....And then, below....you can see what it all looked like when Joanne and Julie actually played the play with the lights reflected in the Mylar behind them---framing them, really......It couldn't have been more perfect....and remember, we are doing this on a shoestring budget---you never have much money when you do theatre---Especially at a place like Theatre West. Charley received a credit in the program that said, Production Design Concept, Charles Berliner, and deservedly so, because he also solved the problem of going from Play 2, ("A Play On Words") to Play 3, "Jen The Hen", the third piece. "A Play On Words" is a conversation between two young women that could take place anywhere....! Charley came up with the brilliant idea of having the two women in that second play be movers....So, as "A" and "B" had their 'scatological' conversation---a rather daring conversation for that time, they removed the set from Act 1 and set-up all that was needed for Act 3....Betty, who directed "A Play On Words", always said that Charley solved her problem of how to 'stage' that piece and she was forever grateful to him.....It was very complicated because everything had to be done and finished by the end of the 2nd piece, "A Play On Words"....And it was almost like a dance. Both Deirdre and Pamela Dunlap were so good in this piece and so very game, too....I guess we all truly love a challenge, don't we? As you can see in the picture above, the floor had not been painted out yet. That was the very last thing to be done before our previews began.....Part of what made this whole thing such a truly wonderful experience for me was the sense of co-operation that prevailed throughout---and the fun we had while working on these plays...And believe me, we did have lots of fun during the entire process......I will be sharing more about this special time in my life, next time.......


More To Come........




Note: This has been and continues to be a very hard time for me.....So, please forgive me for not being as involved here in the blog world as I used to be. I don't know when this will change. There is much to think about and do as we all get ready for Betty's Memorial Celebration. Thank you for understanding, my dears.......







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27 Comments:
had this to say:

Black and White film is such a great teacher of composition.

You take all the time to mourn you need.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 12:56:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I do realize that a Memorial Celebration is about all Betty was..her talents, her family, her friends..her life.. I remember going to a memoral service at Paramount for DeForest when he passed away and although it's a celebration of ones life, it's a flood of memories..all good.. but hard to get thru. I know you will have your friends by your side to help cope with your loss.
Big hugs Naomi. please know Betty would not want anyone sad, she loved and lived life to the fullest.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 3:22:00 AM PDT 

Blogger Mar
had this to say:

Liz Taylor has just joined Betty...I thought of you.
((Hugs))

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 7:22:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

You had a wonderful friend for all these years and now she is gone and its hard to get passed it but tyou will sometime..

Please take the time you need to heal your heart my friend. I am an e-mail away if you need to talk to someone. You have alot of friends on here.. Take care and hugs.. N..

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 10:55:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I was sad to hear about Liz Taylor. :(

The photos are fascinating. Wow what exciting projects you worked on. I love how you have so many photos too!

Don't be hard on yourself, this must be an extremely difficult time for you. My thoughts and prayers are with you. xxxxxx Time is a great healer, but I know you won't want to hear that now.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 12:27:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Lovely as always- love the black and white.

And, of course, understood! XO

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 2:58:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow Naomi...what great photos and a wonderful capturing of the time. So happy you shared this wonderful time with us. How creative and talented everyone was. The mylar idea is brillant. What an
extrodinary life you lived.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 3:49:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

you have my heart during this difficult time, sugar! xoxox

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 8:19:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

What wonderful creative experiences you have had. You so need to write a book.
I realize what a rough time you must be going through. Healing is such a slow, painful process.
Just know we are here for you.

Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 6:07:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Love the pix. Getting ready for the vision always the most exciting part! Listen, Betty should take all your energy right now, not a blog. Take it easy and take care.

Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 7:19:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Kathy_B
had this to say:

I have been thinking of you. I know this is an extremely difficult time for you. Take care of yourself, and update when you can. Although we've never met you in person, we love and care about you very much.

Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 7:54:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

JULIE SAID...

Lately, concerned about you but this needs time. Understand.

Thanks for sharing the photographs and stories about "The Dressing Room". Cooperation between everyone is a wonderful experience. Please continue to tell us more about your work in the arts. Love reading about it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 12:01:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Love the photos and the memories, as always.

I hope you're well, dear.

Thursday, March 24, 2011 at 3:21:00 PM PDT 

Blogger Pat
had this to say:

I'm sending you loving strength for Betty's memorial. She will always be with you Naomi.

What a brilliant idea for the set, and getting the actresses to shift the furniture keeps the whole spirit of the play alive. I'd love to have been part of it - or just to see it.

Friday, March 25, 2011 at 2:34:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Very, very clever, the movers transition idea. What great photos, too.

I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers...

Friday, March 25, 2011 at 8:15:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Lady of the hills......Cleopatra died..Even though she was a tad before my time..i feel a sense of loss....i can change how you feel..but i can let you know i count on reading your stories and hearing about your journey we call life...stay with us and that smile will be back...your friend wants you to smile and move fwd...zman sends

Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 10:14:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Btw I gave you a special mention on my blog. :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 12:59:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

thank you so much for sharing more about your play. Such a rich time!
I think of you fondly, and am so glad you had so may wonderful years with your dear friend. xo

Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 6:01:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

You are so in my heartfelt thoughts right now, Naomi. I'm wishing you peace and strength.

I am glad that you documented this so well, to be shown in the future (today!). The curious part of me wants to know what the conversation in the dressing room was about and how it played into the hospital scene, if it did. Were they plays within plays, or scenes within one?

Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 11:00:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Prayers to you Dear Naomi.

Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 11:54:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I feel as though we need to talk again...soon. I missed Part 1 but will go back and read it and I do know how you cared for Betty. I'm so sorry for your loss, Naomi, as she was such a huge part of your life. Please know that I think of you often, and I hope to chat again with you soon.

PS - Love the idea of these women looking at each other through a mirror in this play. Difficult...and reminds me of "Love Letters" with Eli Walach and his wife. Remember that one? Just the typewriters and still they were able to pull it off. A wonderful play...my FIRST real play, actually.

Love and hugs, Ily (Miss you, my friend!) xo

Sunday, March 27, 2011 at 3:57:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

one day
one moment
at a time my friend

the photos are so wonderful

Monday, March 28, 2011 at 9:14:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

All these photos are fascinating, Naomi! I am amazed with the great collection of pictures you have.
I would love to watch your plays...

Dear Naomi, please take the time you need to heal your heart.
(((Many hugs)))

Monday, March 28, 2011 at 10:02:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I loved doing plays in public school, in college, and in community theatre, then I stopped. I was never very good at it, but oh I loved it. I love the creative solution with the mylar! I also like the idea of the actresses delivering their lines as if looking in their makeup mirror. It's like the audience is viewing a private conversation. Very creative. I can't imagine the thrill you must have had to create all this and then get to see it performed. It makes me emotional just thinking about seeing something you create coming to life at the hands of others. I only had a small glimpse of that in college when other students read my poetry for events. I almost felt naked, my thoughts, ideas, emotions, so exposed. Would "they" like it, would the students deliver the lines right, would the audience understand what I was trying to convey? So much pressure. It all went well, but I kind of pulled back from publishing and performing after that because I felt so exposed.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 1:31:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I enjoy your reminiscences tremendously. Your style of writing is so elegant and vivid that we can really feel the atmosphere surrounding your play. It must have been very gratifying to work with such a professional and talented group of people. I hope that spring and the beauty of nature outside your windows will help with your sorrow. Hugs to you and Sweetie.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 3:35:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Those black and white photos are a wonderful walk "down memory lane". What a fascinating life you have led. Thank you for sharing those memories with us.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 5:51:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

That must have been a wonderful project to work on. Yes low budget is always a challenge but it makes you so creative at the same time.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 8:55:00 PM PDT 

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