Ok, Let’s Talk Specifics

10 Jul

We had half of yesterday off and all of today and half of Wednesday.  YAY!

Final projects.  So, Neil and Marco put us into pairs for directing, which is quite a challenge.  Not only do you have to figure out how to DIRECT together, you have to try to find a common vision for your text.  Neil wrote two very short pages and he and Marco gave us over 4 hours of rehearsal time.  I know that doesn’t sound like much, but since we’ve been putting pieces together with only 2 hours or less, it was a luxury.

My partner and I sat down and talked about our ideas, which were very different.  She proposed putting both into the scene.  Ultimately, I think the scene did not work with both in there, but it was a fascinating trial.  We then got two actors, Alberto and Amelia, who were simply fantastic.

Let me tell you what we had: we had a very simple 2 page text.  My idea was that Amelia had killed a man and needed Alberto to help her dump the body.  For Susan, she gave Alberto a form of OCD and he needed Amelia to clip his toenails.  (we also developed a backstory to make the two actions make sense).  What happens is that they arrive at an impasse.  First of all, I LOVE LOVE LOVE our Italians actors.  I don’t love them just because they are uncommonly good looking, which they are, but they are totally committed and jumped into anything we had them do.  We have some people from Singapore here with a very different way of approaching text, and I know the work seems weird and our actors just do it.  BUT the great thing is that they don’t JUST do it – they push us and ask questions and bring their own ideas.  They wonder if something totally makes sense or not.  Alberto and Amelia were just fantastic.  They brought so much to the process.  Now Susan and I are very different directors.  She is actually a choreographer, so she plans every minute movement.  I am more text based, so I want the actors to really connect with the words on the page.  While our two visions didn’t quite work in the scene, our way of directing may have been beneficial because we both bring such different sensibilities that could compliment each other.  hard to say.

Anyway, I think people generally liked it, and even if they didn’t I learned a lot.  It was sad to say goodbye to Neil, Marco and the actors.  Luca kept saying it was like being at a press junket because we kept taking pictures of ourselves in various permutations with all of them.  Neil and Marco.  Neil and Marco and Luca.  Luca and Marco.  Luca and Sandra.  All the actors.  Just the ladies.  Just the people in our scene.  It was quite amusing.

Yesterday was our final presentation day with Stephan.  This was very VERY new for me.  We had, the day before, found a site in Spoleto and were going to create a site specific work, which we did.  During our rehearsal process, people came by and watched, so that even ended up being a performance unto itself.  We chose an ancient Roman drain, below street level, next to a church.  We created a carnival atmosphere and made it the “Carnival of Lost Treasures.”  One in our group was the Ringmaster/Narrator and one of our group was his assistant.  The other 3 of us were physicalizing the “lost treasure” – which was a huge list of objects (wallet, remote, jewels) and ideas (virginity, integrity, civilization).  I have to say, this was totally outside of my wheelhouse.  First of all, performing tableau style dance in public?  Not comfy for me.  On the street? Not comfy for me.  I didn’t come to Spoleto for the comfort, though, so I jumped right in, despite the fact that I was hugely self conscious.  In the end, I am glad I chose to participate this way.  It was actually really fun.  Explaining the piece in detail would be hard, so I won’t here, but eventually I will have video of all of my work.

Today we take a trip to Assisi and to a winery.  Then back home for a bit and then out to Spoleto for a show and dinner.  Whee!

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One Response to “Ok, Let’s Talk Specifics”

  1. James F. Strange July 10, 2012 at 6:23 am #

    That must have been one of the most formative experiences of your creative life.

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