Monday, October 24, 2016

The Work Before the Work


The play has been selected and cast. The venue contract signed. The team is being assembled. We don't begin rehearsals until mid-November, but there is still a lot of work to be done. I still have to write a press release. We need to finalize our rehearsal schedule. We need to set up a promo photo shoot. 

And as the director, I need to work, work, work. In some sense, once rehearsals start a director has less work to do than the actors. I don't have to go home and drill lines sometime between the end of the last rehearsal and the beginning of the next. Once rehearsal ends, my work (at least my creative work) on the play is done for the day. But that's deceptive. Because as a director you have to do a very great deal of work before hand. One of the things I try very hard to do as director is to think of as many possibilities as I can. I know I will never think of everything, so I don't worry about trying. If ones actors are good (and the people I cast are quite good), they will do more work on their character specifically than I ever could. They will surprise me and think of things I never would have.   But as a director, I will do the same. One MUST. 

I think that my primary job as a director is asking questions. Lots of questions. And to do that requires preparation. I want to open up possibilities. Occasionally, yes, directing is telling actors where to stand (don't stand in front of your scene partner), but since I do small cast plays, I have the luxury of doing that very little.  I don't want to tell you where to go or where to look, but I DO want you to think about WHY you are standing there, or looking there. And I want to play with the words, the intentions, the conflict, the love and hate, the relationships and events. So I'm reading, and reading. I hope I can do it justice. We've got less than a month until we start rehearsals. There's a lot to do between now and then. 


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