The official blog of the Muhlenberg Theatre & Dance Department
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Posts Tagged: Mental Landscapes

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Hey everyone!  I’m currently in the midst of tech for The Man Who Turned Into a Stick.  It is certainly is a handful, but not in a bad way. I think that’s the nature of theatre.  To go back a bit, we had a week off from rehearsals over spring break, so coming back I wasn’t quite sure exactly what to expect.  Before spring break the cast was working hard and they were doing a great job refining their characters and making certain moments in the show very specific along the lines of what we’re looking for in the final performance.    

When we returned from break there wasn’t much time before we had our first on-stage rehearsal and went into tech.  After the actors got the show back into their bodies on the Sunday night we returned, we had only three more rehearsals until our first on-stage last Thursday, March 14.  We continued to experiment and give the show one last metaphorical shock, instilling it with energy before we had our first on-stage (which went very well!).  It was refreshing and exciting to have the show in the actual space where it will be performed, and new life was breathed into it.  We made some slight adjustments, but the cast did an amazing job with such little time, only one hour, to accomplish what we needed to in the Studio Theater.  

We had one more rehearsal Friday before we went into cue-to-cue run on Saturday.  Friday’s rehearsal allowed us to solidify what we learned and worked with in the space the night before, and on Saturday we were able to add in 95% of the lighting and sound cues. Sunday, we added costumes and had a full run of all three shows in Mental Landscapes consecutively.  To add to the excitement of costumes, my cast and I were able to see the other two plays for the first time, which was really a treat.  Everyone was impressed with each other’s work, and it was great to have the three shows finally come together for a run, which has been in the making for over two months.  I’m excited for the final dress rehearsal tonight, in which we’ll make our final adjustments, and then open tomorrow!

Thanks for reading!  I’ll check back in with everyone soon!

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Hello there!  Thanks for reading my blog!  So, the last few weeks have definitely been exciting working on The Man Who Turned Into a Stick, which I’m directing for Muhlenberg’s upcoming evening of one-act plays, called Mental Landscapes.  It’s been a great deal of rehearsal on top of meetings with costume, lighting, and set designers, the rest of the production team and my faculty advisors.  Let’s just say its been consuming quite a large portion of my time, but there’s hardly anything else I’d rather be doing.  Let’s take a step back, though, and I’ll let you know how I got here.

Last year I went through the application process to direct a Mainstage for the 2012-13 season, along with several other senior directors.  Late last spring semester we were informed whether our shows had been accepted and when they would be performed.  This year’s senior class in particular has a lot of students highly interested in directing.  The department did a nice job of assigning each director to a project, including three student directors on last semester’s production of 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, and four student directors in the New Visions Directors’ Festival this March (Mental Landscapes is part of New Visions… It’s a little confusing, we know, but hoorah for directing opportunities!)

I had already done a fair amount of preparation for the application and interview, so the process of creating a vision for this play began well before I knew I was even directing it.  I began analyzing the text, researching the play and trying to learn as much as I could about the playwright and the style in which I was to work.  I had to pitch an overall concept and direction that I would want to take the play during the interview process. 

Skipping ahead several months, I began auditions for the show in November and had a cast by the beginning of December.  As soon as we were back on campus we began rehearsals, and we certainly haven’t stopped since.  It’s been about three full weeks and I think it’s going really well, which is making me even more excited.  It’s certainly a difficult script.  It was written in 1967 by Kobo Abe, a Japanese playwright writing in the style of magical realism.  Despite the challenge, the actors have been great to work with, and most importantly I think everyone involved is learning a great deal. 

Here’s a picture of me (right) and my cast experimenting with the infamous stick in rehearsal.

All right, that’s all for now! See you all soon!