As we continue to workshop our devised production of Don Quixote, we’ll post some photos from time to time. Here’s a couple from the first week of October – our process is to break the story down into shorter parts (sometimes a couple of the 125 chapters at a time) and do a quick “bad first draft”, staging it in just a few minutes. We video the draft, then watch it back and make decisions about what we could do better, or differently, or more interestingly, then get back up, re-stage it, film it and watch it again. After multiple passes, we end up with a stronger (yet still rough) draft of the scene. Over the next month, we’ll take these rough scenes and work through them until we put them down in script form, to tighten the action and clean up the dialogue.
It’s a joy for me to be in a rehearsal room – I love to see actors at work, and watch a director guiding the process. I got to sit in on 2 rehearsals tonight- Angel Street (which opens in two weeks) and Henry V (in initial blocking rehearsals to open in mid-October).
Rehearsing is practicing – trying different ways of moving, of saying a line, attempting to draw out every possible meaning and deciding which ways communicate the most of what could be meant. A rehearsal room has the space to fail, and fail in the most effective way: the way that leads to discovery. And that’s why a rehearsal room is a place of trust – in fellow actors, in the director, in the crew; trust in the fact that we are all there, together, serving one another, serving the text, and that our valuable failures here results in work that ultimately serves our audience. Otherwise, it’s hard to have the freedom to fail well.