I came to DC in May for a workshop reading of House of Gold. That was the first time that I would meet most of the actors that I would spend two months with. I had the natural first-day-of-school jitters, but found that they were completely unnecessary. The reading went off without a hitch, and I was back in New York by that night.
Soon after I got an email from my cast-mate Michael Russotto welcoming me to Woolly. I still think it was one of the nicest things anyone has done for me. That one email took away my nervousness about coming here, and replaced them with excitement.
Our first rehearsal day was supposed to be the designer presentations followed by a reading of the play. I was surprised by all the people who came to see it. I’ve usually seen theatre staff and designers at these Meet and Greets. At this meeting there was not only theater staff, but also Woolly’s patrons, board, and frequent theatre goers. It was amazing to see that how much of a community there is at Woolly. The Cohens, patrons of Woolly for the past 30 years, gave Randy Blair and me a ride back to our apartments that night (along with a mini-tour of DC).
At some point into the rehearsal process I started to feel antsy. I love to cook, and baking relaxes me. I mentioned this to Taryn Colberg-Staples. She and Jenn Sheetz went through the green room cabinets and prop storage pulling aside all kinds of bakeware for me. Michael, forever welcoming, let me borrow his rolling pin while I’m here. That rolling pin made a very relaxing lattice crust apple pie.
The past few weeks have involved people coming up to introduce themselves in the halls, cupcakes by Emily Townley; political discussions with Mitchell Hébert; posting weird pictures with Ben Allen-Kingsland, Will Hayes Cromartie, Andrew Lincoln, and Randy; as well as planning the Joe Lonely and Jon Bénet show with James Flanagan.
I am approximately 250 miles away from my home, my husband, and my Kitchen-Aid mixer; but Woolly’s community has made it possible for me to find a home away from home. I really appreciate that.
~ Kaaron Briscoe, House of Gold cast member Nov. 2010