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!