Deep into Rehearsals
My enduring challenge with curating new work is how to retain a critical distance from it without losing my passion that drew me to the writing in the first place. I have been meeting with some of our Young Writers group this week, all of whose potential is without doubt. Yet I still need to push them to question what they do and the theatrical assumptions they make.
However, as I turn from dramaturg into director, my perspective on the work changes. As dramaturg, I am looking for ways to continually question the writers. As director, I have to – at some point – trust the writing completely and begin to conceive of it in 3D. From this point, together with the actors, we are all stumbling forward, in the dark, flipping back and forth between our hot, passionate, vulnerable eyes and our cold, blue, analytical eyes, questioning everything we had hitherto thought about the play. We make choices one day and refute them the next; rewrites change the piece overnight.
The only certainties are: dates, times and venues in the schedule; production meetings where crucial decisions are taken; figuring out how chairs get moved from one venue to another; how long to make the white drapes and choosing which piece gets profiled on social media on any particular day. Such tangible processes provide the solidity for us, while in rehearsal we continue the more slippery work of exploring what lies beneath the skin of each piece and how we can bring it to life for our audiences. Only then, with the presence of the audience, do we truly understand the qualities of the work, the mistakes we need to rectify, and - for a moment – gain some certainty, other than our most important certainty: opening night on 7th July, just 3 weeks away!
Patrick Morris / Artistic Director