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Rehearsal Diary of THE MISTAKES MADELINE MADE in Space-Saving Haiku Format

Editor’s note: Colleen Werthmann currently stars in Naked Angels’ production of Liz Meriwether’s The Mistakes Madeline Made, directed by Evan Cabnet. We asked her to provide us with a rehearsal diary, but what she handed in exceeded our word count by an order of magnitude. The noted actress, author, and humorist responded to our editorial request, creatively as ever, by converting the diary entries into haiku. -Jason Grote

First day. Nervous, light.
We meet, greet, eat, chat, smile, hear

The play together.

Will we become friends?
I’m curious to know all

Of these cool people.

Table work. Did I
embarrass myself with that

anecdote? Alas!

We crack up during
The funny bits. I think this

is my favorite part.

Goofing off. I feel
Trusted, and happy, so I

Find a few new things.

Handiwipe meltdown.
I have a sinus headache

From all my anger.

Running the play, I
Throw a subtle tantrum

Inside a speech—Bad choice.

Am I the oldest
Person in the room? How weird.

Whoa. That’s just so weird.

Sometimes when they laugh
It hurts. I hope I’m not but

just might be this freak.

Working scenes. Funny
ha-ha/peculiar. Brian,

Tommy, Ian—so good.

Anxiety today.
Solving textual issues.

Tired. My brain is full.

End of day crisis
An actor almost leaves us.

Then, not. Too much stress…

Meltdown work again.
Felt so humiliated.

Have to try, have faith.

Run, run, run the chunks.
How does Tommy leave the stage?

Or does he? He’s great.

Work feels nice, solid,
Assiduous. Evan has

trust, and a light hand.

Things are better now.
Gaining momentum, and the

Designers come, yay.

Laura is heroic.
She shades darker and darker

each passing day.

Shaping and rewrites.
Liz knows exactly what’s needed.

I am way impressed.

Week 3. We don’t know
Who we are or if this will

Be any good. Blaargh.

Greg and Hannah, our cool
stage managers, are over us

But still laugh for us.

Need a spirit-lift today.
I am SO GLAD to be here

now, with these nutjobs.

Carly our AD likes it
when I do schtick as a weird

Guy named Alonzo.

Crummy run; upset
From work—Ooh!—I know. Steal that

bitch’s voice (for show).

First day of tech! Eek!
The set’s down to the wire.

Cue to cue: snoresville.

Jenny and Seth make the
Space look nice. It’s first preview!

Time slithers fast.

The laughs and vibe were
Kinda shocking. Plunged into

A cold pool of WOO!

Second show feels bad.
Everybody bails for home

Tail between their legs.

Fixed the beginning.
Liz and Evan rallied. We

Go out, blow off steam.

Previews are the best
Because people don’t know just

How to watch it yet.

Show was amazing.
I feel grateful for getting

To do this with my life.

The Mistakes Madeline Made runs through May 13 At The Culture Project’s 45 Below, 45 Bleecker. Tuesdays – Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 7pm. Tickets at, or (212) 868-4444.


Colleen Werthmann

Werthmann is an actor and writer on the staff of the comedy news website, 23/6.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2006

All Issues