Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The "TREE" keeps growing

Rehearsals have moved into a new phase.

The actors are off the book - no longer rehearsing script in hand - and have been for days. The more the words get into their bodies, the more focused and precise their performances, the more the script becomes theirs.

And the less i have to do with it.

To be sure, there’s still some fine tuning to be done. I watch them sometimes struggling with difficulties, and feel guilty - I made them suffer this - but also try to watch very carefully to see if the difficulties come from faults in the writing.

In which case there's usually something I can do.

Or whether it’s just difficult.

In which case it will get easier.

I’m coming to appreciate that my words are actually very precise: each word of each line has its job to do, is a marker point or staging post in the emotional and intellectual journey.

Which means that until you don’t get on top of them, it all tends to be a bit of a nightmare.

I’m reminded of all this as i relearn the words of “Jesus” for performance on Saturday.

Meantime, as far as the “Tree” goes: ss the opening night gets closer, and everyone else gets more and more totally involved, the more I slowly detach.

That’s part of my value in the process: to get a little bit detached, to stand back, and really be able to see progress.

My time of intense, obsessive involvement is far behind: in January, when i was wrestling with the script and trying to make sense of the story.

It feels strange now to hand it over.

None of which stops me quite often crying.

We stopped this afternoon at a sad, sad moment, not so far from the end: I hope the story can recover, somehow, to leave us with more than a glimer of hope.

I’d hate just to spreading despair.
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