No power? No problem!

Never a dull moment 

In my last post, I exalted in just how resilient this ensemble has been thus far. Well, today was no different.

Cuts aren’t always skin deep 

First, today’s rehearsal was the day I announced “cuts” to the script (those lines which don’t make it into the final production) ahead of our first full run-through tomorrow. Taking lines away from actors is often done with great trepidation as a director because the lines themselves represent another facet of the persona of the character. Many actors form attachments to their lines, which can serve as a great motivator, but can also lead an actor to glorify their own role, and not pay attention to their partner’s words and actions. In any case, the ensemble took the cuts with an air of professionalism that I had hoped for, but didn’t exactly expect.

Is this a classroom or a nightclub?

Once we moved on from the cuts, we began rehearsal in earnest. While revisiting an earlier scene we hadn’t fully blocked, the lights in the classroom started to flicker. At first I thought it was a prank of some sort. For a moment, the classroom had an almost strobe-light effect. I felt like I could be staging Twelfth Night in the disco era (Studio 12?). A minute or so of flickering (which was quite unnerving for many in the room) then gave way to the power being shut off completely. Without skipping a beat, we continued rehearsing the scene by flashlight. Amazingly, the fun was only getting started.

Parking lot rehearsal for the WIN

After about five minutes of rehearsing in the dark, an announcement went out over the PA system that there was a power outage and we were all to evacuate the building. Again, unfazed, the cast and I went out into the parking lot (and the 45 degree November afternoon) to continue rehearsing the scene. At that instant I felt so close to this ensemble, not just because they kept working despite less than ideal circumstances, but they did so as though it was normal. I’ve found my people!

Rehearsing in a parking lot is normal, right?
(Photo by Ava Deutschman)

Sometimes they laugh with me, sometimes they laugh at me. But laughter is an important thing to have in anyone’s life. (Photo by Ava Deutschman)

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