Honesty. Trust. And other nutritional requirements.
We all have a voice. Writers, directors, stage managers, actors. All of us. And today we used them.
To speak the truth.
Even if that truth is: “what the heck am I supposed to be acting in this scene and why?” (and I’m forced to take a hard look at what’s on the page and either be able to stand behind it and tell the actors why or admit I have no idea; thankfully, in this instance, I DID have an idea)
Once you do that, it’s all out in the open. And trust and discovery are the result. On all sides. We stand together, we lie down together (well…uh…not literally), we breathe together. That’s theatre.
Thus, we forge ahead as a group to clarify and polish and shape the provocative work we’ve done so far (and all the sweat that’s been sweated) with even more mind given to a couple of key moments (trying specifically to crystallize the distinction between the teachers and how the students absorb them) and a character’s purpose for singing or gyrating or just simply going from point A to point B.
That’s why you hire smart actors and a smart team. And that’s why I didn’t want to hand them a script until it was smart too.
Our director, Chad Larabee, is that magic combination of type-A-get-it-done taskmaster and sensitive enabler of character/story/theme. He steers the ship, and we’re all better-off for it. ART IS YOUR ROCK, which was worked the past two days, has me in stitches and gives me chills, alternately. And today, he staged CRIT THIS in record time, leaving plenty of ripe opportunities for our talented character actors to cut loose.
On a side note, in addition to the truth and honesty helpings today, I also gorged on laughing. Now I have to go unbutton my jeans.