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.

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