He conceded that the serial idea, which he said “was built on this television-series model of people becoming invested in the characters,” might have been problematic. “We made it more challenging,” he said, “because you had to come out, and you had to come out multiple times. And though I think people really enjoyed the shows when they were there, we weren’t able to generate the kind of enthusiasm that could propel people to go to their friends and say, ‘Oh, this is amazing. You gotta come with me next time.’ ”
And surely the gap between episodes and the relocation to Central Square didn’t help “Blood Rose Rising” retain, let alone build on, the audience it had drawn six months earlier in Davis Square.
Barkhimer pointed to another obstacle for new work with this production’s particular ambitions: finding “a space that is able to accommodate a show that threatens to be there for a period of months. It’s very difficult.”
Is it possible that “Blood Rose” will rise again? Evett floated a couple of ideas. “One thought we have,” he said, “is to do single performances, maybe do one performance of each and then call it a day. We’re also starting to explore the possibility of changing media and doing it as a Web series and giving up on the idea of live theatrical serials.”
Barkhimer said he still feels good about what he wrote, and he has reason to. “I think if it were to sustain another life, there wouldn’t be many tweaks we’d have to do to the initial episodes,” he said. “We’d just have to take into account the actual environment we’re dealing with as we go forward.” Perhaps that could be at an established venue that’s cultivated an audience for boundary-pushing theater — someplace like Oberon, for example, or the Institute of Contemporary Art. If “Blood Rose Rising” could be revived, Barkhimer said, “I think it would absolutely fly at some point.”
Jeffrey Gantz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.