Inside Rehearsal of Simple People

Posted in Uncategorized on May 18th, 2009 by carol

My staging comes from discovering the space.  The actors first move in the set and then I rediscover the space as they feel  freed or trapped by it.  It is always unique and heartfelt and then I impose my own movement style and choices on top of that. I like song and dance. . All people can dance and sing, just maybe not in the Broadway musical sense. The voice and body are your own and I try to bring out what each actor can bring to the stage in voice and movement. If they actors say they can’t  sing or dance, the will in my work. I sprinkle in realistic staging, otherwise there is no reason for the environment. If I were to completely ignore the set and do funny business with songs and dance the audience wouldn’t take the content of the story seriously.  Homeless executives is both humorous and tragic.

I intentionally keep actors in the dark as to why am I directing  in certain ways.  I want to watch their discoveries. Actors and directors can’t exist without each other’s input. We are like food to one another. As the rehearsal process deepens I become more specific in directing the actors.  Then we reach a phase where both freedom and frustration sets in.  Eventually the actors reveal  a character state.  Once in the state is inhabited then  we can then travel anywhere.

I make changes in the script late in the process because writing words and hearing them are different.  What has made sense on paper doesn’t always translate to the stage. Or I see that one character may not be able to say the thing I wrote, and then realize it was meant for the other character. And frankly, there is the simple fact that sometimes I just don’t know what I am doing. I have to wait for it to become apparent to me.

My story is simple. Everyone knows what has happened with the economic crisis. Sometimes an object or a pet was left behind because they were forced out of their home.  This detail has great significance. Sometimes I leave in the cliche and sometimes I take out the obvious. Sometimes by overstating certain content the story becomes absurd and perhaps meaningful or humorous.  By not giving all the information to a piece, the work is then open to interpretation.  I want the audience to feel more than the information of a story without too much emotional manipulation.  I want the characters to reveal inner feelings and passions. Being homeless is being faceless.

Writing Crooked in a Crook Economy

Posted in Uncategorized on May 14th, 2009 by carol

I always start writing from simple moments in my life.  Usually something simple happens and I over react and write a play.  But in this case it was not that simple.  Many people’s lives were changed by the world economic disaster.  Lives were changed and my perspective on life changed with it. Our shabby existence is now truly happening. Everyday I hear new sad stories of ordinary people, helpless due to the world economic crisis.

Even in crisis we  fall in love and the events of the crisis impact on the path we take. I am trying to show the pathos in someone in high places and what they feel when they fall.  This fall though is within a comedic music-theatre genre.

All the actors are non-realists but with a harsh real quality. I cast for the individual qualities of an actor.  How they feel, how the look, how they respond to my language, how they themselves position themselves in the world is part of my casting process. The actors cannot be replaced because they are real.  All the characters are waiting for something to happen in the real world but on my set they react in an unreal way.

I think the play is linear, sometimes there are abrupt changes in topic.  That is perhaps why it gives the sense of a non-linear work.  Maybe its better to call it crooked. And the music makes shifts happen as well.  Songs can take you places words alone cannot. Ultimately that is one of my goals, going places.

 

Simple People opens May 28