It’s 3:07 AM and I can’t sleep. Why? Because at rehearsal I climbed a mountain, got to a valley and tomorrow will climb another mountain. Theatre is scaling, climbing and short breath. I hear it’s different in Poland where the arts are heavily subsidized. In Poland, the valleys and mountains must be spread out with their long rehearsal periods lasting months, maybe years. Here in the United States we gotta hike rough to rich artistic gold. Whether I am working at a large regional theatre, or at our comfortable little niche of a laboratory at Imago, the valleys and mountains are plentiful.
3 Weeks before opening – Climbing, climbing trying to find a clear view of the play, been at it for weeks. Weeks to go before I sleep.
2 1/2 Weeks before opening – Climbing. Do I see the clearing? Is there something here? Maybe that’s a shape ahead! Or a mirage? No, it’s a shape! A shape! I’ve find form!
(small valley of hope, start again at dawn)
12 Days before opening – Climbing the great wall of technology. Complex design! Ouch! (the curse of a designer/director.) Climb color palate, climb style, climb all the senses. Climb the silences.
11 Days before opening – Harsh awful steep terrain, the sound design is killing me.
10 Days before opening – Almost fell off, the multimedia is treacherous and deadly.
9 Days before opening –Walking in the dark. I don’t think I’ll I make. Why did I start this journey?
8 Days before opening – Oh ?%!#, the lighting, do I have to design everything? Why do I do this myself?
7 Days before opening – What happened? I’m at a clearing. How the hell did I get here? The techno mountain fell away. The play is not 3 hours long. It’s under an hour? How the ?%!# did that happen?
(small valley, tomorrow I go on, pray for me)
And so it goes.
Maybe being American we see art like business — as mountains and valleys. Maybe the Poles see it as one long horizon with no end in sight. mmm? ….I doubt it.
The Cuban Missile Tango opens Aug 17 (in 7 days, yikes!)