So, it’s not called practice. Ever. And anyone who calls it that clearly deserves some serious teen eye-rolling. It’s called rehearsal. Always.
But after sitting in on a few rehearsals for I and You, I am not sure that that is really the right term either. What I have witnessed in these snippets of preparation is far more creative and much more dynamic than what the word rehearsal can capture. Yes, the actors’ lines are the same, and they say them many times over, but everything else seems to be in constant flux. The delivery changes. The blocking shifts. The analysis of a word or gesture is worked and re-worked. There is far more let’s-figure-this-out, what-do-you-think-about-this, back-and-forthing than I expected. The actors are partners in the decision-making and Sean seems to be equal parts interpreter, coach, visionary and task-master. The exchange of ideas runs the gamut, from how to toss the French fries to just how much time a seventeen year old boy thinks about sex. Despite the range, the ongoing conversation never strays from the play itself. The focus is intense.
I am intrigued by this process, as it means the next time I drop into a rehearsal, everything could be, and likely will be, significantly different.
And I am already looking forward to the tryouts for the next production.
-Suzanne Keefe, Cohort