Good Morning Bazzers!
Do we have a treat for you or what - our first Trainee Director of the project has written us a blog, postcard from rehearsals all the way back in week one - it's a fascinating read during a week of final rehearsals: to understand and reconnect with the nucleus of the piece, what's changed and what's stayed the same. Thank you Stephen! And we're looking forward to a different experience every night too...
Full of expectation I arrived at the Vatican rehearsal studio for day one of rehearsals for ‘Dreamplay’. “We’ll probably spend the morning sat around a big table, reading the script, drinking coffee and discussing the themes of the play. Bit of uniting, a few games, definitely ‘Zip, Zap, Boing’”. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Following a brief introduction, Sarah led a warm up which involved the company moving around the room, engaging with the space. The warm up was followed by a series of improvisations directly linked to scenes in the play. Exploring the themes and nature of each of them, then discussing how it made us feel, both those taking part in the exercises and those watching.
The rest of the week continued to play out this way, so that by Friday we had looked at every scene. I really enjoyed being involved and seeing this process take shape. It felt like the company had a stronger understanding of each scene, their characters and the play as a whole; a group of fearless, daring performers who took on each challenge with pure enthusiasm and inspiring confidence.
As a trainee director, I assumed that I would spend a lot of the week just watching and observing the process, but instead felt very involved, contributing to discussions and exercises. I even had the opportunity to lead a morning warm up.
It was great observing the work that the company did with movement director Fionn. Seeing them completely let go and use their bodies to translate characters and situations, the physicality of the Clown and the Dancing Girls whilst owning their material and being in the moment. Something that all artists aspire to achieve, but do not always having the space and time to practice and explore.
By the end of the week I could see that all of my expectations were well and truly wrong and I’m so glad they were. I had learned a great deal from Sarah and the company. Even having taken over some stage management tasks, I felt that I had a better understanding of what everyone does. Having worked as an actor for several years and have directed a number of plays myself, this opportunity was a wonderful way to experience work from the other side and observe the many ways and approaches towards text, characters, scenes and production.
I really look forward to seeing the finished piece, well considering a lot will be improvised, a finished piece.