I had never heard her voice before entering the rehearsal room one minute before it started – apparently when cabbing in New York City being able to articulate 8th Avenue vs. 8th Street becomes very important during rush hour traffic heading to lower Manhattan when I should have been heading toward Midtown West. Rehearsal starts and we begin to speak. Talking isn’t an issue for me, but listening to her is easy; it is right. She is in command of the ship. I feel safe. We all order a Guinness at O’Lunney’s after the reading. My eyes well up with gratitude. She is the director.

I made the mistake of sharing I wanted to write great roles for actresses of a certain age. I know I meant for actresses like me. She thought I aged her. She is beautiful. Her emotions are raw. I didn’t mean to offend. She is gracious and loving, and her wit acerbic. She’s perfect. She is an actress.

He held back and yet with every beat he gave us more and more and wickedly he drew us in, chewed us up, and made us beg for more. He is an actor.

I wonder why women can’t be angry. What’s the threat? The actress knew to play it. The audience knew not what to make of it. “She is an angry young woman.” Don’t argue I tell myself. “It is your job to perform the dissection and create the place where it is understandable.” I am the playwright not the protagonist; my Mary.

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