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      It’s wonderful to work with people who have worked with other directors.

      It’s wonderful to work with people who have worked with other directors. The rehearsal process becomes something new—we’re traveling a new road together. A few times one of them has indicated that this is not what they are accustomed to; not in a complaining way, just a statement…and I think an acknowledgement of being willing to take the new road.

      After reading through the whole play for the first time together, I encouraged them never to say those lines in the way they just read them. Try something new each time. I’ve said this before in rehearsals with mixed results. The next rehearsal, sure enough, the lines were read in completely new and different ways. I found myself thinking—whoa, why are you saying these lines that way? Realizing they were actually doing what I had asked I settled in for even more assurance that we were in for a ride with this process. Each time we read through a scene that next rehearsal, the lines were read differently. It was a freeing experience—a bit scary— sort of free-falling.

      I asked the cast to have a particular scene memorized. Most of the scenes in this play involved only two characters. Never four. This scene involved three, so I figured it was a good one to tackle. They came in with the whole thing almost word for word memorized. And it’s amazing how powerful a scene can become when characters can look at each other and really talk to each other.

      It’s also amazing how many ways a particular thought could be expressed. Though these three had the scene almost word for word memorized correctly, there were a few paraphrases. They had the thought of the line, but not David Auburn’s exact words. These experiences remind me again and again the thought processes a playwright must go through to find the words he/she believes convey exactly what is intended. The rehearsal paraphrases reveal many other ways the thought could have been conveyed. Sometimes I don’t feel the difference; other times—especially when working with a masterful playwright—it’s clear that the exact words in the script are particularly right for the character/thought/scene.

      Since two of the four actors travel a bit of a distance to Wellsboro, we’ve decided to have fewer and longer rehearsals. I tend to lose energy after two hours but am willing to try for longer periods. It’s a bit scary to imagine the process with days betwixt rehearsals, but we have time since we are nearly two months out.

      A good beginning.

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