Photo Credit: Steve Flavin
This week, hear from the director of this year’s Sheparding America project, Sam Fiorillo. Sam was our Artistic Direction Apprentice last year and we were lucky to have him back for a week at the helm of Where You First Found Me: Plays and Letters which took place this past Monday.
Sam takes us inside some of his favorite moments during his week back in San Francisco:
1:30 AM, December 8th – I’m walking up and down Polk Street, very quietly celebrating with a bag of Bob’s Donuts. I should be sleeping. I should be getting to sleep. I have a flight back to Minneapolis at 6:00 AM but I’m not ready to leave this city or allow the night its end.
10:00 PM, December 8th – Rod Gnapp lets out the last and faintest ‘you’ and with the final word of the night, the lights go out, the audience greets the performers and band, and I’m a picture of unadorned relief with a gin and lime thing in hand. Three moments later I am regretfully swept onstage for applause. I am doing my sheepish thing because I very honestly don’t know what else to do. Another 7 moments later, a woman who I may have offended earlier with an overly alcoholic Savage Lover (read fancy cocktail) shouts to me “You were the DIRECTOR? I thought you were the BARTENDER!” No wonder I’m such a terrible bartender, right? But it is hugs, light, and warmth all around now. Another 15 or so moments later I find Loretta Greco. Thank you so very much from the bottom of me and I’ll see you again sometime hopefully soon.
7:30 PM, December 8th – I give last words to the band and to Jomar Tagatac before he performsTongues. I don’t have time to put on the suit I’d brought from Minneapolis for this moment. No, the audience is already here and I’m ready to start mixing drinks at the bar. I tell myself what I’ve been repeating for the week of rehearsals, this night is going to be something. I don’t know what, but it will be something.
5:00 PM, December 1st – Just off the plane from Minneapolis, this is the first moment I have seen Magic Theatre since the end of my apprenticeship there. Everything looks the same. Everything smells the same. And I feel the same—I am following my same patterns already. But there are also new people to meet and old people to catch up with over King of Thai. And it is different, of course, because now I am here as a visitor. Now I am here to direct this project Loretta and I have been cooking up since I left.
7:00 AM July 29th – I am sitting at the Ferry Building waiting for my train that will take me to Minnesota for my next chapter. Last night was my final moment as an apprentice at Magic Theatre—a late night playing board games with Sara, Ellen, Mike, and others. I wonder if I’ll be back. Loretta and I have been talking about a night of Sam Shepard and Joe Chaikin’s voice plays, live music, fancy cocktails, and some of Magic’s favorite actors. She seems so sure it will happen.