Yesterday I worked with Meg (Aphro) and Malcolm (Cup) on their first two scenes. It was a productive rehearsal and I felt great about our work. We got into the text and these two characters, parsing through their history and current states, the moment before and their objectives within the scene and the play. As gods they operate on multiple levels, and we spent a lot of time talking about who they are, what are their abilities, and what is their experience in the human world. Both Meg and Malcolm are extremely talented and well cast (if I may say so!) and it’s great fun watching them discover their chemistry and the meaning of the poetry the gods speak.
There are some challenges to working with the set in our space – I am continuing to see this the more we stage the show. The theater is a long, narrow black box, so there is very little depth, especially since the set is the front wall of an apartment building, the rooms within seen through open windows, and the street in front of the building. With more money – and space – we would have likely put the building on an angle, which would have allowed for more depth, but then the set would have required the building of two walls, rather than just one. Simplifications were made early to all our ideas. Such is producing on a minimal budget. But I feel it’s better to do really well within our means then stretch too far and risk doing more not so well.
Later in the day the rest of the cast arrived. I spent some time with Alex talking about Dalia – we explored ways to raise the stakes for her and to further understand where she’s come from and the state she’s in on the night the play takes place. Then we warmed up and started running the play. We only made it through scene 7. What a hot mess! But there is a lot to be learned by forcing yourself to stumble through the show, staged or not.
I look forward to staging more of the scenes and then taking the time to tighten them as people get off book and more comfortable with their characters, one another and the language of this world. Specifically I think we need to very carefully choreograph the action taking place within the windows so that we can control exactly what the audience sees and doesn’t.
Later today we are having a production meeting. On the subway into rehearsal yesterday Angela and I wrote the agenda for today’s meeting. We have a lot to discuss. There is so much exciting work happening – the arrows, sound, set, costumes – it can be a challenge to track and it certainly keeps me up at night. We’ve got important ground to cover today.
It is both electrifying exciting and terrifying that opening is a month away today.