Sunday, February 24, 2013

37th Humana Festival of New American Plays Day 2, 3, 4

In my excitement and perhaps naivete I committed to writing a paragraph (at least) about each days' rehearsal while here, my first Humana Fest, exploring unknown territory of premiering a New Play.  We are, after all is said and done, going to premiere a New Play, a work that may have never been seen or heard before or at the least never fully produced.  It's a delicate thing, I am finding.  Not to discount my experience by limiting myself in what I write
we are planning a surprise.
We are attempting to give each audience a "first time" experience of the play. That said if I write too closely or in detail of the rehearsal process for this New Play, won't I give some of what it's about away?
This is why I say in my naivete . . .
If I wrote a play I would want to give it a chance to be seen keeping as many of the surprises a secret until the public shows up the first Day! So for those of you, if any, who are reading this I want you to know I am not giving up on the assignment. I am renegotiating the contract on which I based my initial foray into this part of the blog.
I am being vague.
Basically, I'll be writing about some of the things we talk about in rehearsal, but not all, and I'll be sharing some of what we've read so far, but not all . . . you'll get the picture, sorta.

For now I'll say this. Time is passing strangely. We have been in rehearsal for a total of 4 days but it feels like we've known and worked with one another for weeks now. The work of a company to put on a play never stops.  That is, we do the work that is consigned to the rehearsal day--read the play aloud all together (so great because up until then we've been playing all the parts, like Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream), block (stage/set the physical motions of) the play, make deeper and deeper cuts into the play or specify moments between characters, work on a vocabulary that will help us understand one another as we pour our varied and divergent energies into this single purpose . . . we do this in rehearsal, and more. But then outside of rehearsal we think about the play, do research on-line or talk with people who may have experiences that match the given circumstances of the play, bond with cast-mates (gym, bar, apartments, eating, exploring our new neighborhoods--we've traveled all over!), we think about the play some more, ask questions of the play (what am I saying, what does it mean, to whom, why, where, when, etc), attend to our bodies, minds, hearts--because we are the instruments we play, we play on ourselves. (like a cellist plays on a cello)

And so now I am going to take a break and appreciate another kind of performance in a different medium--film, which I love.  I am going to watch the Academy Awards.  With my cast-mates.

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