I always have a fantastic plan to publish more on my rehearsal process each time I go into one. And then I actually start and the thought of trying to put into words or images what is happening in that space is unbelievably daunting. My apologies for my false promises. I would say it won’t happen again, but that’s probably untrue.
In an attempt to redeem myself, here is the latest news and most recent discoveries from the rehearsal front:
I have never before worked with an all-male cast (which was a conscious choice this time around in the writing and the casting process). The last time I tried to work with a male ensemble was actually for my undergraduate thesis, and that ended up being a cross-gender cast show because I only had women audition. Luckily, my quest for men ended well this time, and I am working with a wonderful cast who have been willing to go down countless paths with me as we try to, together, understand a very lyrical and non-linear script (goddamn self-as-playwright). Some observations from this new, all-male path:
– As much as I hate to say it, when we play games or do exercises that require hand/eye coordination, this cast far surpasses any all-female or mixed gender cast I’ve ever worked with. They may not all have as much access to their hips as some of my lady collaborators do, but damn, they can catch! (Which is not to say that girls can’t catch–I am simply reporting an observation as I find it).
– I was surprised to find my usual ribald sense of humor very inhibited during the first couple of days of rehearsal. Normally, I’m about as sophisticated as a thirteen-year-old boy in terms of my commentary and jokes, but something about being among guys I didn’t know well stopped the usual flow of innuendo and double entendres. I’m glad to report, though, that I quickly got over that, and have since bonded with the group over many a “that’s what she said.” It feels good to be back.
– I can’t come up with a third thing that’s particularly man-related. I’m working with a cast. They happen to be men. As a group, they are relating to and interacting with each other in a way that is unique to this experience and this time. They (and I) are cultivating an incredibly strong, but fleeting bond that will see them through this process and then dissolve. Such is the nature of the theatrical beast. It’s here, and then it’s gone.