Tonight we had a stop-and-start run-through of Act I. Over the past several days we’ve been running the show through without stopping as often as possible. I think this is important; to get a feel for the rhythm of the show, and to solidify blocking and lines through multiple repetitions. But tonight we took the time to slow down and take a careful look at the work we’ve done thus far. The blocking is done, the choreography is done and the actors are working off-book. These elements may not be absolutely perfect, but they’re solid enough that each actor’s individual voice is beginning to come through. This is one of my favorite stages of rehearsal. By this point the actors have begun to settle into their roles. They’ve experimented with various line deliveries and with multiple rhythms and physical embellishments. Over the past few weeks I’ve stepped back a bit; to give the actors some time to find their own way for a while, and to give myself some time to watch their work and to be inspired by it. Tonight was all about honing in on that creative work and giving it a bit of focus; and it was about rediscovering the fun. Of course, some of what we did tonight was to fix things which weren’t working, or to add extra directions here and there. But much of what we did was to underline the work the actors have brought to the process, perhaps to fine-tune the timing a bit, and to give it more specificity and clarification. It was a lot of fun and I think everyone feels great about the advancements we were able to make. Tomorrow night will be choreography review and then on Thursday we’ll enjoy a similar stop-and-start assessment of Act II.