by Isa Espy
For the last two weeks I have been arriving at around 10 a.m. each morning, and unlocking the Fountain’s second floor side door. Sometimes I am greeted by Maria, the Fountain’s lovely housekeeper. Other times, the first thing to hit me as I walk though the door is the whiff of brewing coffee (one of the world’s best smells, in my opinion). Occasionally, though, I am the first one to arrive, and the Fountain’s sunny cafe welcomes me with a sleepy quiet that is quickly dispelled as people begin to trickle in.
Last Thursday, however, was not such a day. The Fountain regularly rents out its space to other theatre artists within the community, and last week we were hosting a haunting immersive theatre project called Alone which describes itself as “an ongoing, site-specific, fully-immersive and existential experience that explores the range of human emotions.” Alone had transformed our space, covering all the windows with foil, and draping our walls with black fabric. I was the first person to arrive Thursday morning, and I opened the side door into pitch blackness. I fumbled around for the light switch, all the while hearing the eerie rustle of tinfoil.
Audiences enter Alone: An Existential Haunting
It was a little unsettling sitting alone in the dark when it was actually morning. Making photocopies suddenly became an adventure as I had to navigate myself through cloth tunnels to get to the printer.
About an hour later The Fountain was abuzz with activity. James Bennett was holding rehearsals for his Rapid Dev show — Leland Frankel’s new play Better Part of Forever. The Alone team was putting the last touches on their show before it opened that night, and Citizen: An American Lyric was rehearsing in the theatre. A full and busy house!
While everyone was lovely, one new face in particular stole my heart. That face happened to be covered in fur. Deborah’s dog, Rupert, made a guest appearance at our staff meeting, and I fell in love. Our meeting was extra special because we were also celebrating Deborah Lawlor’s birthday. Book keeper Licia Jaccard made a delicious flowerless chocolate cake with raspberries in celebration. And, while our staff meeting to do list was ever-growing, chocolate cake made it so much better.
Isa Espy is our summer intern from UCLA. Our thanks to the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the support of its Arts Internship Program.