Vincent's Yellow

a[n] [auto]biography and a love story.

The Plan

This entry is about the plan for the play, Vincent’s Yellow. The Plan, like the play, like the book, has developed so naturally that it’s almost suspicious. Why suspicious? I never really feel like I’m planning. I just get ideas and they become plans. I’ll explain.

I’ve always thought my play about Vincent and I would be a perfect summer show: it’s uplifting, it will be beautiful (and about beauty), and lastly, I’d love to be able to step outside with my audience during the show, letting the fresh air into our lungs and gazing at the stars in wonder — imagining and, indeed, conceiving what it was that Vincent saw in them. I want to look at real stars and speak his words, if possible. And since I’m putting it up in Chicago, that means it’s got to be the summer.

So then, this past July when I started this website, I had already started my quotes project and so I became aware of the anniversary of Vincent’s death (July 29th)  and it happened to be the day of my first entry. I think it was around then that I realized I wanted my show to also open on July 29th. Then a series of ideas flooded my brain: my birthday is August 31st, so if the show closed that day it’d have a nice five weekend run, which is plenty of time for the word to spread and to have reviewers come and actually review it. (For those of you not in the theater business, most shows by young theater makers only run for about a week, which in a way, is like shooting yourself in the foot. A great start, but you can’t really get enough attention. And besides, since I’ve been working on this for over two years and moved to Chicago to make it happen, and have in every other way put all my eggs in this one very yellow basket, why not go all the way?)

So then it became TRUTH: Vincent’s Yellow will be running in Chicago July 29th – August 31st 2010! (yes, I know the closing is a Tuesday, it’ll be a special evening followed by a birthday party for me)

2010 is also nice because then it’s been 120 years since Vincent’s death. It’s not quite as cool the centennial of his death, 1990 (note the millions of projects and retrospectives that were dated for that year… okay not millions but you get the idea), but it’s pretty awesome from where I’m sitting. The show starts with his end, and ends with my beginning. Sounds perfect to me. (Did I mention I will be turning 25 years old?)

So this past week I’ve been working a lot on the play, and I plan on typing up all the last revisions to finish off my first full draft today (super exciting! and I met my self-imposed deadline!). Which means, this evening, I will have ONE document that is my play. This is very amazing, because the building blocks are scenes I have been writing entirely separate from one another over the past two years.

So now where has the plan taken me? I have arrived at the fact that I have an enormous show to put up and a lot of work to do in the next six months. If the show opens at the end of July, I want to start rehearsing at the end of May, which means I need to do auditions in April, which means the script MUST be done by then. But that part is easier. What’s more complicated is that, as a friend called to my attention this morning,  I need to get a creative team together asap and I need to start hunting for my perfect performance space.

I am very excited, slightly overwhelmed, and most importantly, I am inviting you, yes you, where ever you are right now, to my show. It wouldn’t be the same without you.

Now, I don’t normally think one theatrical experience is worth flying to a city to see, whether it’s my work, or anyone else’s, but I have been fighting and will continue to fight to make this show the absolute pinnacle of everything I believe in, to make it a theatrical experience that cannot be had, seen, tasted or felt anywhere else, to make it the most perfectly tuned expression of everything Vincent has taught me, to make it a gift that you will take home with you in your heart, in your gut, and in your mind. I am aiming to give you everything, personally, from my hands to yours.

Plus, Chicago is awfully beautiful in the summer! :)

Image courtesy of

So I’ve planted the idea in your head: come to Chicago in August for Beauty. Roll it around in your mouth, fiddle with it between your fingertips. I’ll be returning to this in later entries.

In the meantime, it’s time for me to get back to work! But I will leave you with a little Vincent before I go.

Vincent often imagined himself as a worker similar to a farmer, a sower or a reaper, as yet another common man who slaved outdoors all day. The farmer’s work was taxing, but very important. So Vincent worked with the same unwavering strength and determination.

His admiration also drove him to paint them.

Thanks to the website

Image courtesy of

First and foremost, when I’ll be able to pay more for models, and female models too, I’ll make further progress; I feel it and I know it. And I’ll probably also succeed in being able to do portraits. But that depends on working hard; not a day without a line, as Gavarni used to say. (January 1881 to Theo)

Not a day without a line, my friends. Until next week.

Mon, February 1 2010 » Personal

2 Responses

  1. Timmy Caldwell February 1 2010 @ 12:19

    I’ll be there!

  2. Rose Marie Raccioppi February 16 2010 @ 22:22

    Thank you for your vision and its creation in this space of time. I, among all noted, have been touched by Vincent’s work very deeply. Let me share one of my posted poems in dedication to Vincent.

    Vincent, yours is a world known to me
    And I grasp at this meaning of Be
    Light and fields, people and purpose defined
    And I in plea proclaim do not confine
    Bar restraint and perception veiled
    Vincent your gift of knowing has prevailed
    With awe and sighs anew your art so perceived
    And blessed for the inexplicable conceived.

    Rose Marie Raccioppi
    APOGEE Poet

    In response to:
    Wheat Field Behind Saint-Paul Hospital with a Reaper, Painting, Oil on Canvas, Saint-Rémy, September, 1889, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany, Europe,
    Vincent Van Gogh, 1853-1890.

    There are others posted in response to other works of Vincent’s. I would be pleased to furnish links if this is of interest to you. Interesting enough one is about “yellow.”

    Looking forward to being informed of your progress.


    Rose Marie Raccioppi

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