Tunnels and Light

I took a few nights off from rehearsal. We’d gone through all the material at least once by last Sunday. I’d tweaked a few small things and one big thing. And it was time to let the actors and directors have some time to themselves. I could feel myself getting antsy–that certain sections of text weren’t flowing the way I’d hoped, that some characterizations weren’t communicating, that we kept getting bogged down in remembering choreography. And I couldn’t tell how much of it was something I needed to fix in the script. Or how much of it was just the performers needing more time to live inside the material. What is this thing I wrote? I kept asking myself. So I gave them space to find out.

Well, holy macaroni. They did the first run-through last night. And to quote director, Monica Bell, Ladies and gentlemen, “We have a play.” Who knows exactly what pushes on-stage energy to a new level, what makes an ensemble out of a bunch of individuals, what drives completely new character choices, what suddenly allows things that had before been fractured pieces to become seamless.

I DO know it’s freakin’ magic. And for all of us, not a moment too soon. The kids were phenomenal (some particularly big leaps taken by Kitty and Toni-O; and Edward did some brilliant onstage business with his headlamp in the SHoHo scene) and, with two weeks left, I can’t wait to see where this new confidence in the piece and themselves will take it.

As for rewrites, I took ample notes, but the majority had to do with tiny shifts (like having Toni-O announce the gangs BEFORE they sing so the audience gets the connection). A few had to do with the necessity of some lines (Monica and I agreed to keep them, to see if some tighter comic timing won’t correct the issues). And the bigger ones were character notes and questions to myself that will not be addressed for this workshop, but perhaps in a subsequent draft.

The bad news is, I was so entranced by the performance that I didn’t take a single picture.


2 Responses to “Tunnels and Light”

  1. Amanda Jeter Says:

    i think i speak for the entire cast when i say that we were ALL entranced by our run last night. it felt so great to do the show all the way through. every night walking into that theater from the moment we start, through notes, and into the end, i feel so incredibly lucky to have been chosen to be a part of such a terrific show with such an amazing group of people.

    believe me when i say that you are CERTAINLY not the only one getting antsy. i know the show’s gonna blow everybody away. it blows the cast away every night. blow by blow, blow by blow, blow by blow by blow by bloooooooowwww!! =]

    im astonished by how much we’ve all grown into this. it’s like every night we each get a better feel for what we’re doing and who we are. i love it. love love love love love every second of rehearsals.

    i guess im just writing, or replying rather, to say thank you. thank you for writing this horrendously clever show, thank you for being so patient with all of us, thank you for letting us all know what you think through this blog & your comments during rehearsals, thank you for EVERYTHING.

    JEEPERS! ill never forget this experience. never ever ever.


  2. darylfazio Says:

    You’re very, very, welcome, Amanda. It’s a two-way street, those thank-yous. The best thing about collaboration, and especially on anything new, is that without each other, we’re just not the same. Your hard work and enthusiasm, not to mention this cool person you’re making Kitty into…well, let’s just say, I wish I could bottle it. I could retire early.

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