Ash Fork Madness©️
Nana Cook and Charlotte Madison
copyright 2019 Nana Cook and Charlotte Madison
“Vent Y’all’s Spleen”
Once the directors and crew were chosen and work began I expected to supervise Madness, paint sets and occasionally flit about checking on the show’s progress, but it did not happen that way. I had endless details to review, t-shirts to design, posters to create, publicity to determine and an endless succession of duties to delegate. Plus I discovered everything depended on something else preceding it.
As if painting the flats, working at three regular jobs, working with my listless personality, G.B. and Madness were not enough to contend with, I discovered cracks were forming between several of the directors and their casts — and the cracks were widening each day.
“G.B. I can’t do it!” I rushed into his arms and burst into tears.
“Now Sweetheart, this was y’all’s idea, not mine, but y’all have to know — Madisons don’t quit!” Then he added, “Jes’ go out thar, an’ vent y’all’s spleen!”
The next day I ran around town venting my spleen, liver and pancreas! The five directors were hunted down and to each one I instructed, “I want you and your cast to love doing this show and enjoy working together. You’ll have some unpopular decisions to make — and so will I. I don’t have time to be nice so eventually everyone will be mad at me. I want you to blame me for everything and protect your relationship with the cast and crew. I’m too busy to care if someone’s angry and not talking to me. As a matter of fact, that would be a nice change!”
Late in May I attended my first and last rehearsal, as I had to abide by the limitations demanded by G.B.. Everyone had learned their parts but Madness desperately needed an expert to fine tune each act and pull all five together.
As I sat in the dark auditorium concerned and disappointed, a new participant appeared on the stage. He was a professional singer, actor and director and he was — the high school principal! Mr. Hanna asked if he could take over the production as “coordinating director” — and we let him!