Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gypsy life

HARVEY opens Friday.

After being in rehearsal since late July, the opening night for this play is now just a few days away.

I suppose I should be glad. I mean, in the past – by this point – I would be more than ready to move on. As a director I would have by now proven my point (to myself), and, like many of the cast, I would already be anticipating my next project.

Still …

I’m working with an awesome group of performers. As an ensemble, they are a finely tuned instrument, and with every rehearsal we uncover and explore more shadings, more nuances.

Selfishly, it’s gonna be hard to give that up.

Still …

I’m directing INHERIT THE WIND next. Auditions are in two weeks. Already people have started calling, requesting information that, surprisingly, I’m reluctant to give. INHERIT THE WIND is a large cast show. I’m grateful for interest. I know I’m gonna need people willing to throw themselves into the work. I know this.

I’m also aware that HARVEY cast members have other work waiting for them. Two in our show already have been cast in other plays. They start into rehearsal right after our show opens. Several are planning to audition for INHERIT THE WIND. One cast member is starting his own drama school. Two others have film roles in their futures. All this I expected. These people are the best of the best. They are in demand. It’s unusual (and a draw) that they all happen to be together in any show.

This is good stuff. Good stuff! But it all reminds me that true theatre moments and performances are fleeting, illusionary. That is not only their very nature, but also their appeal.

Slowly I become aware of purpose. If we have presented the work properly, then you, our audience, our equal partner, will recognize these as moments as they are presented to you, and hold them close in memory for the rest of your life. Not too much to ask. We are such stuff as dreams are made on.

We freely admit that we are gypsies, melancholy and fatalistic. Ourselves are the only gift we have to give. Ah, but when the gift is accepted, the awareness and experience shared …

in those rare moments …

we are justified.


And how was your day?

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