Saturday, August 8, 2009

Observation #1

Rehearsal 10-10:45am - Wilderness by Moll Frothingham directed by Basil Harris

I stayed in the back of the studio theatre as everyone left the morning meeting so I could be innocuous as I observe rehearsal. Basil invites actors into the circle. Playwright Moll is in the circle, as well - this is her last few minutes in the 14/48 room before she heads home to sleep. When she comes back, the creation will be complete. This is a fun piece - young hikers in the wilderness. They read the script through - Alyson Scadron Branner, Mike Dooly, Jodi-Paul Wooster, Rebecca Olson. Basil is listening and says he likes the casting as is. They talk about being an adolescent. That feeling of little problems feeling like they're life or death. Basil talks to each actor about his or her character. "Bitchy is just always an option for you." "You don't stand too close but you're positioning yourself for her." Basil is very funny, irreverant, and yet purposeful. It seems to me that Moll is very happy with the read-through. She heads home. Jodi-Paul is yellow highlighting his script and accidentally highlights someone else's lines. They joke that Jodi-Paul can just do the whole script. "I got it!" he says. Basil gets them up on their feet immediately - there is plenty of space to do that. They talk about hiking boots, backpacks, the feeling when you really don't want to keep hiking but everyone else is going so you have to just keep going. They are already having fun with it. They're already trying out movements that add to the story, that tell the story. I'm realizing how early that happens - sans costume, sans props, sans music - relationships are forming between the characters, traits are becoming apparent, it's already happening. And I'm realizing that I've watched long enough, there are six other rehearsals to go to. And there is no innocuous way to leave that theatre space - I'm disruptive as I creak down the stairs. I remember that the observer naturally impacts that which she observes. It vaguely worries me.


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