I look at this picture to your right and I ask myself why pictures of first reads always look the same. Maybe because they are taken at an hour uncomfortable for theater folk (which would be anytime before noon) or maybe its because every first read has the feeling of that first day of school about them. Everyone showing up trying to impress the people they don't know or looking forward to seeing the kids they haven't seen since school let out last June. Well whatever the reason, I have to say that this is a smart a lively bunch of actors at any time of day and the designers and crew are going to rock your socks off, unless you are not wearing socks in which case you will feel a strange tingling along the souls of your feet.
A Bright Room Called Day, to quote our season press release, is "Set in the last days of Germany’s Weimar Republic, Kushner’s first published play follows a group of artists and activists as they watch their country gradually descend into the Third Reich. By turns both magical and rhetorical, Bright Room charts the ascension of the Nazi Party through the seemingly-insulated life in middle-class living rooms. A cast of funny and finely-drawn characters populates Kushner’s Room to illustrate what happens when intelligent people sit by idly during times of crisis. "
Rahaleh Nassri the director an Rorschach Company member started off the day with what I thought was one of the most well thought out and insightful introductions to a rehearsal process that I have ever heard. She started out by saying that this is not a play about Nazis or about Weimar Germany, its not just a parable about today, its about the way the left fails in the face of fascism or the politics of the right. She made the point that as the artists in the play and as artists in real life we are very good at recognizing injustice and pain. The left is very empathetic, yet there comes a moment where all of its good intentions seem to fold in on themselves. Kushner in Bright Room is exploring why his character of Agnes is who she is in the face of the rising of evil and oppression.
I will be continuing to update this blog as often as possible, however since I am not in the cast of the show I will rely on the people who are there every day to give us insight into the process as this remarkable play comes to life.
A little 411 about Tony Kushner he will be speaking tonight at the Avalon Theater on Connecticut Ave, NW, at 8:15. He will be discussing Arthur Miller's early plays. Check out the info on Politics and Prose for details on how to get tickets.
Later today I will be posting a complete listing of all the company members who contributed to our Profiles to Discourage. I have it on good authority that some of the remaining company members may be getting there's done in the very near future but I would not hold my breath.