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1776: My Arranged Marriage

If you have missed out on WHY I am doing a series on 1776 take a moment and catch up [1]!

Friday evening I had my first official scene rehearsal as Abigail Adams.

Basically I worked, prayed and trained to earn this part. I read books to try to understand how Abigail thought. I watched documentaries to get glimpses into her life. I tried to work my make up and hair styles for the audition to show that physically I could be turned into Abigail. I made adjustments to my schedule before even knowing I had the part- preparing to be as available as possible. You have to trust the director to make the best decisions for the show’s overall look.

The director also has another decision to make- they get to pick my husband. In this show my scenes are all done alone with the character of John Adams. So basically you have a director deciding on an arranged stage marriage.

Heading into rehearsal Friday I had no clue what was going to happen. I had briefly met the actor playing my husband but never spent any time with him. I didn’t know much about his personality except that he seemed like a very nice guy and talented performer (the role of John Adams in this show is very demanding).

I won’t talk too much about the actual rehearsal (cause honestly it’s not that interesting if you aren’t in it) but I will tell you the first 45 minutes involved sitting in a chair, staring deeply into his eyes reciting lines and singing love songs until we had become comfortable with each other. Then the next hour involved other work getting the hang of the staging and other elements. It’s a weird experience.

(BTW I found out Friday he designs websites for a living- talk about a perfect match! hee hee)

After rehearsal I thought about how thankful I was to have a good stage match. Now I have no clue what he thinks of me (and since he isn’t a reader he probably won’t ever know what I thought about it) but I hope he feels the same.

And I hope those who get to see the performance can see the deep love and respect that John and Abigail felt for each other- even as they were apart for years at a time.

As we celebrate Memorial Day I am so thankful for the sacrifices those who went before us made. John and Abigail Adams sacrificed everything they had worked for to begin this country. John had a successful law firm that ran into the ground and Abigail was left in Braintree, MA to run the farm and care for their children all alone. They wrote over 1000 letters to each other in their times of separation. John Adams was the only of our founding fathers to NEVER have slaves. He thought it was ridiculous that you could own a human being so Abigail ran their farm alone.

So from those in 1776 to those in 2012 thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you that I have the freedom to worship my God without having to hide. Thank you for my freedoms to vote, own property and own my business. I, and others like me, are forever in your debt.

And I hope on stage I can give Abigail the honor she is also due.

For those of you who are local and interested in seeing the show, you can find out show information and purchase tickets [2].