FOCUSING ON WHAT NEEDS TO BE ADDED

Having not been around for a few days, it was quite interesting to see how far the show has come. As an observer, I found the flow with the transitions to be quite impressive. I don’t have words for how informative it is to see how the team works to pass from play to play. I find so much work is in the transitions and without seeing how hard everyone works on them I doubt I would appreciate what I am really seeing, when it will be in the public performance. I am reminded of jugglers, where the things that look easy are really really hard, and the stuff that impresses, is quite a bit less effort.

Sean’s remarks at the end of the run thru, were quite educational. In seeing a production it is hard to understand what exactly the director is adding to the performance. Being behind the scenes I have new appreciation on how much detail is needed.  The effort to decide and work thru those places where multiple actors are talking at the same time. Watching as the team comes to an understanding of what is primary, and what is more background speech, is again educational for me as an observer.  Also seeing the evaluation of the whole from Sean, how his evaluation must be honest to get the team to the next level and improve, without being discouraging, this is in itself an art. I have seen many managers I worked for fail in this type of effort.  As I said to someone, I think the actors have many of the items they need as memory and now they are focusing on what needs to be added. These are the places the team strives to improve, but I hope they are honest about the base of skills in the play they have already have acquired.

Given that the next step is to move from the rehearsal hall to the stage, I anticipate that a bunch of rework in the new space will be needed.  Might be like moving the dough from being noodles to spaghetti. More detail added, but given what the team has created so far, I expect to be impressed in how they demonstrate meeting these new challenges.

-Richard Pitkin, Cohort

cigars
Things being added  – such as “world tour” costumes for Ulysses S. Grant (Terrell Donnell Sledge) and Julia Dent (Celina Dean)

45 Plays for 45 Presidents runs September 7 – October 2. http://www.mrt.org/45Plays

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