Rehearsal: one week down!
So this week, the focus was on making changes to the play to prepare it for performance. This is why I love working on new plays. Not only do you get to create a character of your very own without any other versions that came before you, but you also get to work with the whole team to actually help make the play!
Our team this week was composed of the playwright (Lauren), director (Sarah), dramaturg (Margot), stage manager (Angela), PA (Sheryl), assistant director (Margot -- yup, two Margots!), and Devion and me (the actors, duh).
There are also snacks, which are really just necessary when you're thinking so hard, and lots and lots of coffee!
So essentially what we do is read the play about a thousand times, and then we stop periodically and talk about a lot of different things. Most important is whether everything makes sense and if the ideas would be clear to an audience hearing it for the first time. Then there's a lot of discussion about some of the culminating moments in the play, and what those could be like. Finally, Lauren tweaks little things like word choice or comic timing. It's amazing how the smallest change (for example, the word "a" to the word "the") can make all the difference in a joke!
We were so lucky to have Lauren, our playwright, with us the whole time, so rewrites were delivered daily. I don't know when she sleeps! We started with yellow replacement pages, and then the next day was green, then lilac. (Yes, LILAC. Margot, our dramaturg, was very specific about that color!) I've learned to keep my notes in a notebook rather than the pages of my script because you never know what might be revised!
Finally the rewrites were all compiled and we got a whole new script. That gave us the chance to go through one more time to hear the whole thing as a complete piece to see what we've got.
So, I'll be superhonest here: I kid you not, for such a funny play, this read resulted in three sad, crumpled Kleenexes for me. (And a trip to the bathroom to get it together afterwards.) So I'm gonna go out on a limb and say all that work was worth it! This newest version RULES! Watch out, folks!
Next week: time to get this baby up on its feet!