Thursday, February 7, 2013

Double Heart: On Collaboration

“F---ing synonyms.” - James Alexander Rankin

Notes on a Wednesday evening rehearsal:

Why I love this collaborative work, and having experience creating theater so many talented, wonderful friends. There’s a four-line gag between Benedick and his disgusting companion Pene. It is the drinking song I mentioned yesterday, the soon-to-be-legendary Privvy Song.

James and I have been messing with it, in fact Carli worked with us on choreography last week. But I wasn’t happy with the tune. I mean, it shouldn’t really be a tune, not really, but our ditty sounded tuneless and arbitrary. I wanted some guidance from someone who knows something about music. And drinking. So I called Ali.

She sent me an mp3 last night, she sang it herself. It’s perfect, just what I wanted. Ali is so awesome. James and I worked the choreography again with this new version last night and it is so much better.

Yesterday afternoon Daniel and I visited the Alcazar to conduct our annual pre-show presentation and discussion with interested residents. How will audiences react to this new “prequel” to a familiar and much-loved old play? If our theater fans there are any indication, they are excited about it!

Following each performance during the tour we conduct a brief takback with the audience. I provided Daniel some sample questions yesterday, dealing with the content of the work. Why do people find it so difficult to be honest about their feelings? Do men and women handle their feelings differently, and if so in what way? How do you cope with tragedy?  I would like to have the chance to talk about these things with people who come to see the show, and less about my creative process in writing it. I like talking about the work I have done, but then then discussions all become about that. There’s a lot of personal investment in the content, and I am curious about what audiences will find in it.

We run lines prior to rehearsal, there are so many freaking words, and paraphrasing may be an issue. But with the playwright present at all times, it is hard to get away with that. As with Shakespeare's verse, if you have the meter it usually comes out right.

Meanwhile, I am still trying to get all my silly voices straight.

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