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      IT'S GOOD TO MEET YOU by Thomas Putnam

      bolg17268o1At a rehearsal for ALMOST, MAINE the other day I had one of those moments that enriches and empowers. Y'see, we've had to re-cast nearly half of the characters in the play that was originally going to go up in late March. Life happens in three months, and some of the characters had to drop out for a wide variety of reasons—moving, pregnancy, work change, stress. One just never returned calls or emails which makes planning a bit difficult...and is just not cool...but is all part of the adventure; we move on. So in a short amout of time we've chosen some new actors and started over.

      One of the scenes (the play is comprised of eight short plays that all take place at or around the same time on a cold winter's night in far northern Maine) just was not coming together. I was pushing for memorization and the actors were working hard to get all the lines so not a lot was being done in crawling around in the skin of the characters. I had some of the moments in many rehearsal journeys like “oh my, did I choose the wrong actors” or “what's going to happen if this just doesn't come together” but these thoughts are fleeting—usually—and we tried the scene in some new ways and talked about the characters and stepped back and stepped in and messed around and crawled in the skin.

      These plays have just two characters in each one. These two actors were/are game for just about anything and thankfully don't take digging and re-digging personally and then...there it was. It all made sense and I wondered when these two characters walked in the door. Where had they been? Moments like these are gold. Here were two characters I believed and knew and delighted in. Good stuff.

      Now on to the set which has a similar process. What the set painter has done so far doesn't quite seem to fit with where my mind was going with it and so we delve in much like we do with the actors/characters—now it's the painter/set. I've never worked with this artist before so the dialogue and digging and re-digging will be all new...and empowering and enriching.


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