Production Journal – July 4

We’ve arrived in Nairobi!

Rehearsal this week was light as both our director and our Antigone were off at the Aspen Ideas Fest talking up the project. We reconvened as a group on Thursday to run the show one last time and then go over last travel details.

At 5 o’clock on Friday the entire company met at JFK, every person hauling travel gear and a chunk of the show on her back. I pause to note that by this time I’d already committed the only real travel blunder of our initial voyage: I left my phone in the taxi on the way to JFK. And though I caught the mistake quickly, it was not in time to rescue my handy electronic device.

Our flight to Amsterdam was delayed quite a bit, and the specter of a missed connection began to loom over the group. Peter, Marcel, and Mosher kept spirits up by handing out candy. When at least we boarded the plane, a curious fact confronted us: no more than 25% of the seats were occupied. Suddenly we could all grab two and three seats to ourselves for stretching legs and sleeping. Those who were seated far away were free to move and find friendlier neighbors. No doubt the empty flight was a huge hit to Delta, but man was it a luxury for us.

Luck remained on our side as we rushed through the Amsterdam airport and reached the gate just in time for boarding. At approximately 8:30PM local time, we set down in Nairobi. It’s a crisp night here, and excitement was visible on all our faces.

Unfortunately we wouldn’t make it through customs without facing our first real setback: it turns out all of our checked luggage was left behind, and not, as one might assume during the quick turnaround in Amsterdam: our bags were never put on the plane in NYC. Needless to say we’re not thrilled with Delta. Most of the company checked their personal belongings so as to carry show items on-board the plane. So for the time being we’re splitting malaria pills and toothpaste, hoping the luggage will arrive before noon tomorrow.

On the whole, though, spirits are quite high. I’m writing this from a room shared by Benita and Phumi. Benita is happily reclined on a couch nearby, her slippered feet propped up on the coffee table. She realized only after spraying herself down with Off! that she would in fact not like the smell of DEET all over her clothes, and so she has switched into a hotel bathrobe for the project of typing up tomorrow’s list of needed-supplies (which naturally ballooned after the luggage news).

Everyone is exhausted, thrilled to have arrived, and eager to perform our first show tomorrow.

-Steve Foglia

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