and we’re off…

We just ended our first rehearsal. I can’t believe it’s started. Been working on this show for months now and the day has finally come. I realize that we still have the holiday to go through before we really get going, but still, today was a big day. I always feel so odd after events such as this. All the time and planning and prep work – and then the moment arrives and you experience it and then it’s over. And it feels like it all occurred in the same breath.

We met at my apartment in Woodside, which worked well in terms in having lots of comfortable space – but I think it was odd for some and getting here was a challenge. Once gathered, it was pleasant, a good atmosphere. It feels like the making of a family. I wish I could have just sat and been a part of it, but of course when you’re hosting, when you are leading, you never really get to relax.

Angela cooked pasta and meatballs in homemade sauce. I made a salad and we had bread and iced tea. I baked carrot cake cupcakes and gingerbread cookies. We talked, introduced ourselves. The designers gave brief presentations on their work. I talked a little about the process. Angela gave out scripts and talked about the marketing plan. Then we had lunch and just visited. It was nice.

The first read thru is always such an interesting experience. It’s the first time I’ve heard the whole thing read by this cast – of course – but in the case of a few it’s the first time I’ve heard them read their character at all. Auditions are so helpful but they only tell you so much. And it’s fascinating to see – even just in the space of a single reading – how an actor changes from the first scene to the last. I already feel like I know them better, more intimately. And I feel like I understand the play better too. Of course. Plays are meant to be heard. They have to be listened too, to be seen, which is what comes next. You can’t read them and know them – not really. And hearing it in their voices – not mine in my head – well, it’s incredible. Feeling the energy in the room. Witnessing the actors who so seamlessly slip into their roles and seeing others feel their way carefully through the text.

And I can pick out the beats more clearly now. I can hear the rhythm, feel the heartbeat of the play coming through…

After we read we had dessert. Angela talked a little about the development of the play, where it came from and how she felt about its process. Then we talked casually about the script, and more so about the world of the play. They commented on the society, the elements within, what makes sense, what they are curious about. All telling, all helpful.

Then then we were done. The hours having flown by so quickly. And the house is quiet again.

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