From Page To Stage: The birth of Artless Charlie – Part 14

3/21/03

Things were a little slow going tonight. It’s funny how you can have the best rehearsal you’ve ever had one night, and a relatively crappy one the very next night.  We spent a great deal of time addressing the end of the fight scene between Kirsten and Dan. Unfortunately, we were unable to find a solution as to why it is so easy for Kirsten to leave at the end of that scene.  We ran the scene a number of times and tried a few different emotional approaches for Kirsten.  I thought that if we varied Charlie’s level of connection with her in this scene that it might help her resolve this issue, but we had no luck.  I think that our lack of success had a lot to do with how exhausted everyone has been feeling lately, myself included.  Looking at our rigorous rehearsal schedule with Erin, my stage manager, we decided to cancel this Saturday’s rehearsal before “Disco Globe“ – the Drama Department’s annual party – and cancel our next two Monday rehearsals.  Hopefully this will give the group a little time to rest up and study their lines for Wednesday’s off-book date.  

On Sunday’s rehearsal, we will work this same scene again and look at the last scene in the play so that we might be able to straighten it out and move on.  I think we are spending too much time with these scenes and finding minimal success.  I suggested that Adam write some more lines or a monologue for Grace near the end of the fight scene.  I think that because we explored the existing text so many ways without finding the “missing piece” that makes it harder for Grace to leave, perhaps it’s not there in the text. Even if we don’t actually use the new stuff that he writes, I think it will be a good way to find exactly what is there and what we might potentially be missing.  I have to say, it is quite a luxury to ask the playwright to add in a monologue on a scene that the director has been having trouble with, I can’t imagine that such a thing happens too often in the professional world.  Adam said that he should be able to have something by Sunday, which is fantastic.  I hope that we will be able to wrap up the end of the play by then, at least insofar as the major structural and emotional work is concerned.  I feel like it is time to start working on the finer points of this play, and I’d like to get to that as soon as possible.

I was getting concerned that perhaps I was overworking the cast as of late, but I talked to Erin about it and she said that none of the cast members had complained to her about that.  She had, however, heard a few grumbles about how busy everyone was with classes and impending midterms, so I think that these cancelled rehearsals will be helpful. I don’t want to make the group unhappy by overworking them. I pride myself on the fact that I am a director who tries to be very in tune to the feelings of his cast and works accordingly to accommodate them and keep them happy.  If I can do that, I know that our rehearsals will be more productive all around.

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