Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Another Word from the Director

Instead of letting Ms. Burgess' comments languish in the hidden world of the comment box, I have brought it here to you the reading public. Once again the Director Jessi Burgess:

I'd rather Ellen in a cape than a beard, as it were. Although I should like to see other members of the company bearded, I prefer Ellen in her cape and cat ears!

Regarding the run last night, Fair Reader, I should like to say that officially we termed this past evening the "stumble-through": this terminology lowers the stakes of the run by giving everyone permission to "stumble" (forget a line, wander outrageously outside the parameters of the established blocking, miss a scene or a transition, etc). In my opinion, last night's run could have been called--without apology--a design run! Kudos to the team for their hard work as evidenced by keeping the stumbles to a minimum. I was pleased to see: that we're around 80% off-book (an average); that the blocking works in many places, and the places where it doesn't work it's "fixable"; that the actors are doing a fine job with their multiple characterizations and the variety of styles within the scenes. Also, it's funny. I laughed loudly and obnoxiously, many times, even though I was trying hard to be serious and evaluative.

After the actors went home, we had a productive design meeting. Big decisions were made based on what we saw working/not working last night. The biggest changes occurred in evaluating the set's functionality: we essentially morphed the set from being in the round to a thrust last night after a heated debate regarding the experience of the group in that seating arrangement (producer & Artistic Director Randy Baker and set & lighting designer David Ghatan sat on this bench in Act 2, prompting this debate). The discussion was terrific fun and an interesting solution was reached; we'll have to see which of the solutions sticks through to the opening night. Dear Reader, you will just have to come and see the end product to see how the debate of the bench was solved!

Congrats, again, all! As Heminge says in Act one:

"I am heartened by this, our run-through!"

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