The 23 seconds I spent on stage in Picasso at the Lapin Agile were the most exciting moments I've experienced on the stage. This show, cast anonymously and never rehearsed, terrified and thrilled me. I sat in the audience for an hour shaking, watching as my fellow cast members appeared out of the crowd and I thought, "Oh my GOD, I get to be on stage with these people?" When it finally came time for my entrance (and subsequently rapid exit), I jumped up and entered a bizarre and hilarious place, a place where theatre was at its purest. It was raw and horrifying and wonderful; I loved every single second of it. It was the most alive I'd felt on stage in a long, long time. It ended almost as soon as it began, but the intensity of the experience is branded on my memory.
~ Rachel Bonds, Anonymous Actor, Providence, RI
By far the best theatre I've ever seen! Really, truly... you have captured the reason why we do theatre. Totally engaging, totally entertaining, and building community in a way I never imagine. We all went in strangers and went out partners in this crazy game. Totally brilliant!!!!!
~ Samantha Swaim, Anonymous Audience Member, Portland, OR
My feelings have swung from abject terror to a kind of intoxicated exhilaration, much like someone about to embark on their first parachute jump.
~ Anonymous Actor, Portland, Oregon
There's nothing else like it... I found the Anonymous Theatre performance a hoot, a scream, a fabulously entertaining evening which only began with the introduction of characters and cast. Actually, it began way before that: long before "curtain," it was like a big cocktail party for the Portland acting community – lots of people waving at everyone else they knew in the audience, and that never happens at regular shows. Then a huge cheer each time a new character popped out of the crowd to shout his or her first line. At evening's end, I'm sure dozens if not hundreds of people in the audience were wishing they had auditioned, had been cast, or could sing. Kudos to the excellent orchestra and PCS for providing an elegant space.
~ David Loftus, Anonymous Audience Member, Portland, OR
I can assure you that no amount of private rehearsal can prepare you for this event! I was in one of these shows two years ago and believe me when I say that there is nothing like it. The "moment" becomes everything. And as for directing this event, I felt like I was having an affair with twenty people all at the same time. Clandestine does not begin to describe this process. How do you direct a musical without rehearsal? I asked them to play nice with each other, remember as much as humanly possible and, more than anything, have fun.
~ Jim Crino, Anonymous Director, Portland, OR
I was Erronius, the cast was conscientious, the show was hilarious, Jim's direction was wondrous scrupulous, the audience was vociferous (and generous), and the applause was thunderous. When you look at those words, you see a lot of "us" in there, gang.
~ George Fosgate, Anonymous Actor, Portland, OR
Congratulations Anonymous Theatre for creating what is now one of the landmark annual theatre events in Portland. The buzz and fun you generated were contagious, and the turnout shows that the crowds are there for the right events. Well done.
~ Anonymous Audience Member, Portland, OR
What was so amazing was the fact that we got together for one purpose, for one night, without rehearsal, and made an effort to bring the best out in all of us. It was an experience that money could not buy. It seemed to be the proof of the goodness of humanity. Thank you again for creating such a magical production. It was one of my most special moments as an artist.
~ Michinobu Iimori, Anonymous Orchestra Member, Portland, OR
...a wonderful evening of belly laughs. My hands and tummy were sore with laughing and clapping.
~ Suzanne Owens-Duval, Anonymous Audience Member, Portland, OR
Everyone in the audience was whispering to one another, trying to figure out who was in the show based on what they were wearing and whether they looked nervous. Each person entered from the audience on his or her first line. So when the time came, I got up, said, "I've heard Picasso comes here. Does he?" and sauntered up the aisle. (I was really nervous and I almost tripped, but I don't think anyone noticed, thankfully). At the end of the show, we all bowed and then hugged each other, and the audience came up to the performance area to talk to us, and we all kind of became part of the same group again. The whole thing was so much fun; I can't think of it without grinning.
~ Katie O'Connor, Anonymous Actor, Providence, RI
You may have already spotted the company members by the fact that we're still floating six inches off the ground from the sheer thrill of that one-of-a-kind night of theatre!
~ Alan Lytle, Anonymous Orchestra Conductor, Portland, OR