Waltzing Mechanics

Chicago's Home for Documentary Theatre

Line One - The Secret Mission

Cast member WarrWarren Swartwouten Swartwout provides some insight on a key piece of each Line One performance: We had another great week of rehearsal for Line One this past week.  We started working with more callers and running the entirety of the show, including my favorite portion, the “Secret Mission.”  One actor calls another actor on stage, gives him or her a mission, and is off.  The actor who stays behind relates the entire experience of the other actor to the audience.  My mission was to order as much food as possible from a pizza joint with only $5. I ordered a fruit punch iced tea and an Arizona iced tea and as much garlic bread as possible with the remaining money. I never thought as an actor I’d be going to a pizza joint to rehearse, but I can’t complain. It was a strange feeling to tell my experience with another actor over a phone, knowing that the audience on the other side was in some way or another experiencing what I was.

I almost felt like I was a tour guide. I wanted to be as clear and descriptive as possible, so that the audience could visualize every step on my pizza mission.

Another layer to this that I hadn’t thought of before is seeing how is other people navigate a common activity, like purchasing food, perhaps a little differently from yourself.  It brings a lot more meaning to a somewhat mundane experience when it is shared in this manner with so many other people. I have noticed when I am channeling another person, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in their story and walk away at the end with almost the same feelings as the person on the other side.  There is little time to evaluate a story as you are channeling, so there is little to do but feel.  These shared experiences are what make this show so exciting.  I am looking forward to sharing more journeys with audiences to come!