Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday Rehearsals

The second day of 14/48 always feels like someone picked up all the players from the night before, shook them up in a Yahtzee cup, and poured them out on the board again. Some of the players are still joined (Mark Boeker & Shawn Law, I notice, are still together - so are Tina LaPlant & Troy Fischnaller & John Lutyens). But almost everyone else has been rearranged, regrouped, refamilied.

Today, the two worst rehearsal spaces from yesterday have been switched up. Elevators are required. And by the time I get there, most of the playwrights have already cut out and table work is happening everywhere in the building.

I first find Brian Faker in the Microsoft Lobby with Aaron Washington, Erin Stewart, and Andrew McMasters. Playwright Louis Broom is also at the table. They are discussing a big Broadway musical number. When the costume people come Brian says, "If we could have three canes and three top hats" and Beth Matthiesen says, "It's always good to ask. If you could only have one or the other, which would it be." Brain says. "Hats. Canes. Hats."

In the blue lobby George Mount and his cast are discussing what sounds like a biblical piece - or Mafia - or something like that. It's hard to hear exactly what's going on. This is one of the most frustrating rehearsal spaces because people walk through during the day. Later, I notice they've moved into the main lobby.

Upstairs in the buster lobby Tina LaPlant and her cast are have a raucous good time. It almost sound like (and this is from a sensitive playwright's point of view) that they are writing the script on the spot. Are they adding lines? Re-writing? Saying whatever comes to mind? But it's just rehearsal and they're laughing. It's wild. Troy admits there is "a part of me that always wants to go too far." Tina says, "Just don't upstage. You can do that in the 10:30 show." And she says, "I'm already out of control. I can tell."

In the Allen Theater Lobby space David Grossman has Charles Smith, Michael Patten, and Jennifer Jasper. There are blonde wigs and ballet movement and hands in pants and no lines. Excellent!

The added rehearsal space on the 8th floor is by far the best space in the building. Gorgeous, light, huge. There is a five women cast and Opal Peachy at the helm. They are still just chatting, telling stories from past 14/48, Kate Jaeger is saying some of her students may have been in the audience last night seeing her pull sex toys out of her cleavage. They are still casting.

In Buster they are not only cast but on their feet and blocking it. Peggy Gannon, Chuck Leggett and Megan Ahiers are working with Don Fleming. They're laughing and discussing and trying things out. Lisa Viertel and Shane Regan wait for their turn.

Finally, in the echo chamber, is Nicole Boyer Cochran and the two person cast for tonight - Anthony Winkler and Katie Warren. They are also on their feet, working through the internals of the scene, walking, holding their ground, discussing what this means to their characters. Man, I love watching rehearsal.

Becky Hellyer

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