Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thoughts from Jan. 18th Rehearsal

Eliza once asked me this question many moons ago: "Why do you do theatre?" There are countless reasons, probably, as to why anyone does theatre. Moments like tonight would be one of many. The cast seemed to go from being at the top of the ladder of the high diving board to making the driven and meticulous walk into the dive, that is, what awaits next week with props and set and lights and sound, and ultimately the enveloping water of audience surrounding them opening night. (Catch the baptismal theme?:)
Yes there are countless reasons we do what we do. Here's a sample from what hit me tonight:

the cast confident, full of depth, taking chances to connect with each other and their words
touching each other more than usual
making more and less eye contact more intensely
stepping into their characters letting their eyes and voices and hands and arms and feet guide them
interacting more with the space around and between them
what started as a pleasant story diving into a well of emotions and physicality
an opening scene intensely genuine and uncomfortable
bridget having a new controlled manicness
violet tempering spice with nice with a dash of mystical reverence
a play of spiritual exploration of height and depth contrasted with snappy and clever banter
a snicker from tim that prompts bridget to turn to him as she stays in the past scene with evan
father phil noticing his own selfishness at keeping his own miracle private
and in some way finding redemption by helping bridget publically claim hers
bridget's periodic connections with tim while in flashback with evan
posing the reality that those who love us and those we love
share in our lives and choices even while in absentia
asking the question does the sum of our experience define our choices or vice versa
bridget in the flashback scene creating a part one of a scene split in two
when she poses questions to tim about how her child is which he later answers
and how that deepening connection to the past and future points in a way
to the temporal nature of an ensuing extramarital affair
tim recoiling during the kiss not just in a scary movie way
but in a way that says i know what this must feel like and
i'll bear the burden of the discomfort while you enjoy the rest until it stops
that sibling connection
gretchen adopting a tipsy and slightly overbearing disposition
a flightiness of sorts that contrasts with
bridget's compulsion to be focused and her struggle with logic and faith
the bad @ss graph
that charts bridget with a progression from humble/soft/insecure to a heightened don't ___ with me because i may need to knee you in the spiritual groin (more on this in a few lines)
and tim with his start as a tough talking protector of the defenseless to the less control freakish brother and friend
violet's genuineness that she really does believe and wouldn't knowingly hurt anyone
father phil's body language in the final scene with bridget which is sketched on my paper better than i can convey here
to reveal his concealment and contained excitement that he may offer bridget the help he couldn't offer himself
father phil's 'if your sister wasn't involved, would you go [to the shrine]?)'
and tim's answer 'yes'
and bridget looking at tim as if to say 'really???'
and me wondering if tim is speaking what he wished is the truth or what truly is the truth
that he wants to believe
how violet revealing the zoning law workaround on potentionally national TV still makes me wonder if she knows that's potentially troublesome
why she feels the need to reveal that
how evan and father phil try new things each time with the instigation / inquisition scene and how determined they are to find the key to it
the spinning of bridget and evan on the hill (fight) scene and
the sense that she wants to either make him see clearly
or knee him firmly between the thighs
rotating like fighters in a ring
evan freaking out to the point of true sympathy
coming clean and confessing his true state
and bridget understandably pouncing on it in offense (and defense still)
that she lowered her voice level in the last line to him
as if to say
i have enough ammo, you may go now
the tableau that is father phil, bridget and tim in their last scene
with bridget squatting and the men at the table
and for the first time
father phil speaking 'plenty, if she's bridget's daughter'
has a sort of holy ghost quality to it
how bridget chose to make no eye contact with evan on the final approach to the shrine
and in my head as bridget kneeled i pictured the statue moving back into place
as if to say
you have closure

So yeah, those are just some reasons for doing theatre.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Canadian Journalistic Principles

Canadian Association of Journalists Statement of Principles for Investigative Journalism:

Canadian Association of Journalists Statement of Principles:

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Rehearsal Retrospective for Tuesday Jan. 9th

I arrived at what I thought would be break time and David was giving notes. He noticed the new board and in my zeal I almost began to talk about it but filed my enthusiasm to share for later. And later came.

David took time at the end to talk about the board. The cast gathered around and we chatted about St. Bernadette and Beatification and Canonization (more on that in the Glossary to the right) and lack of decomposition of Saints or Popes and what was Kristin Chenoweth doing on the board and the Mysteries of the Rosary and more.

It reminded me of what a profound process this is, the chance to help add to the evolution of revelation that a company experiences when honing the play. And what a complex play this is, a play about having faith in faith, and overcoming crippling regrets, and embracing the miraculous. And what a special gift this is, to dramaturg this show and be around such passionate and inquisitive minds who really appreciate every nuance.

Thank you, everyone.


Excellent resources with details on the 3 parts to the rosary, each with 5 mysteries. The 3 parts rotate during the week and each of the 5 decades of the rosary represents the 5 mysteries suggested to ponder on a given day. I was raised Catholic but I never understood (or maybe never cared before) about this much depth to the Catholic faith.

Wonderful details with links to each set of mysteries is at:

http://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayers/rosary/how_to.htm (the blank space between "how" and "to" is actually a "_" - just FYI, but if you click on the link it should take you there). Check out Section 2 - "The Rosary Proper" - fascinating to click on each of the daily recommended set of mysteries and read about each.

Also in that section is a link to a letter from Pope John Paul II where he proposed a new set of mysteries entitled The Luminous. Great title!

For a less detailed look at praying the rosary, visit:

To pray the Rosary in various languages:

What do you call a lawyer floating face down in the lake?

You know the old joke: “What do you call a lawyer floating face down in the lake? A good start"? I saw it in this article as I was thinking of Bridget and her reluctance to finish school and become a lawyer. The article may share some insights:

It is an interesting perspective to read. It says "Resolve to become a warrior, not a spectator, in the religious and cultural war." Perhaps Bridget doesn't want to be a warrier, religious or otherwise. Maybe she wants to simply be a spectator.

The Prayer Tree

The discussion around The Prayer Tree came up last night. Research indicates that it is more of a community practice encouraging people to share and pray for each other, and that it is not limited to the Catholic faith community.

David found some images to share:
Click here for a whimsical painting of a prayer tree.
Click here for a photo of one.

Other photos of prayer trees:

She Sings! She Acts! She Prays!

Click here for The New York Times article on Kristin Chenoweth (a follow-up from the blog posting from December 13th entitled Kristin and Bridget - see blog archives).

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Results of Recent Harris Poll on Religious Beliefs

Link from David:

Perhaps the most striking of the results is the cultural disparity with regard to legislating protection of religious expression: "More than half (58%) of Italians believe that governments should legislate against forms of religious blasphemy, such as depriving something of its sacred character (for example, burning a bible or the Koran). This view was less prevalent in Spain (46%), France (42%), Germany (41%), Great Britain (37%), and the U.S. (31%)"

Lourdes water. Local Shrine.

Everyone got Saturday's rehearsal off. What a day too - temps in the 70's in January in Boston! Curt, Eliza and I spent time that day out and about, even pondering family and life and death outside the Mapparium of all places. They later focused on their lines as David suggested.

David sent me the following links to various aspects of Catholicism.


The other link is http://www.lasalette-shrine.org/ which is the Lasalette shrine in Attleboro, MA. The site explains "Any La Salette story traces its beginnings to September 19, 1846 when the Blessed Mother appeared to two shepherd children at La Salette, a small hamlet in the French Alps. Through the children she gave her message of 'Reconciliation' to the world. She insisted that this message be made known to all her people."

The story of the apparition is at http://www.lasalette-shrine.org/theapparition.htm.

Other shrines are listed at http://catholicism.about.com/cs/resources/a/shrines.htm.

To clarify, a shrine has several definitions:
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English scrIn, from Latin scrinium case, chest
1 a : a case, box, or receptacle; especially : one in which sacred relics (as the bones of a saint) are deposited b : a place in which devotion is paid to a saint or deity : SANCTUARY c : a niche containing a religious image
2 : a receptacle (as a tomb) for the dead
3 : a place or object hallowed by its associations
Source: www.m-w.com

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Playwright/Director Images (click to enlarge)

Old friends, David Miller and Colleen Curran have a bit of a history, including tooling around Europe and climbing on knees up the worn marble steps of a shrine ... well, Colleen at least ... David took the less devout side route by foot :) ... loved to see that! Well, here's a few nice images of other times they shared ... imagine the song "Memories" playing in the background.

David irreverently e-mailed me the subtitle of this gem, which I omitted. (Au contrare, David!)

"First Curran premiere I directed"

"You take photos like this around Colleen"

Notes after Wednesday Jan 3, 2007 Rehearsal

David and the cast had a spirited rehearsal where they worked and blocked out the Gretchen-camera scene and the ending procession scene. Last night was the first night we displayed dramaturgical images in the room and I encouraged the others to e-mail me if their character research has led them to more images we can include. By incorporating them I hope to make it a more collaborative collection.
Today David e-mailed an image of Angelina Jolie in a Mary-like setting to the left. Click on it to enlarge. It can be seen and read about at the artist's blob by clicking here.
David suggested playwright/director photos also for the rehearsal room - I think that would be great and I also envision it as a special board separate from the mood-type images, and also useful as a lobby display if David chooses. Greg mentioned the possibility of displaying the boards in the lobby. I think that would work well but not all of the images. The goal of the images in the rehearsal room may be different than that for the audiences. (Will review with David his goals for preparing the audience for the play and which images would be best.)
Oh he just sent me the playwright/director photos. Fabulous! That'll be the next posting here.