Thursday, October 23, 2008

Two More Weeks


That’s the new name for the prologue section of my show 7 Minutes to Midnight.

It’s organized chaos, to some degree, but its really a lot of things going on…Eight actors playing with a bunch of rubble. Somewhere in there they will start speaking the text, singing the songs, becoming the story that is the story of the atomic bomb and the story of Kronos and the story of our own tendency for self-destruction…

And we’ll get there…But right now it’s kind of a big mess.

But that’s okay. We got time. Not a lot of time, but some.

No matter what show you work on, you always need two more weeks. That’s just the mantra for any director/writer/actor whatever…Two more weeks. But what I love about the theater is also what challenges me—that there is a looming opening night. And you don’t “not open”. I mean, you can, but that looks even worse then putting up a crappy, haphazard show.

It’s hard to imagine that some of the great theatre practitioners—like Stanislavsky, Brecht, and Grotowski—they rehearsed plays for years.


Unfortunately, in this country, that is rare. I think the average rehearsal time, especially for universities, is six weeks. Now, a lot can be done in six weeks, especially if you have talented people involved (and if you have well-trained people, as well). My actors are starting to feel and work collaboratively like an ensemble, which is wonderful, but think about how much growth could happen with this group if we were working on this for a year? Or two years? Think about how the script and performance might evolve over the span of that time.

In an age of the 10 Minute play, the 24 hour play festival and the rise of YouTube clips that are shot and put up in a matter of minutes, are we losing that sense of creating a piece over a long period of time? Are we losing the sense of involvement and focus and really mining our subject, searching under every rock for the gold we might discover?

Or maybe this show is simply making more aware of how time is so fleeting.

We never have enough. No matter what we’re doing.

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