Telling the Story

We had a wildly productive rehearsal today.  The end result is that all of Act I (except for the Finale) is now offically staged!

I worked on new material with the quintet for the first hour or so, while the rest of the cast reviewed old material in the hallway.

Then we brought everyone in and tackled perhaps my least favorite song in the show….

Well, it was my least favorite until today.

That happens to me a lot.  I’ll study the libretto and listen to recordings as I try to visualize the production we’ll be creating.  Usually the musical notes and the lyrics will tell me what to do. I listen. And I do what the score tells me.

But there’s often at least one song that just doesn’t want to play in my imagination.  I listen and read and listen and read — but the song just doesn’t come to life.  It makes no sense. It is dead to me. That song becomes my least favorite.

Here’s the miracle…

That “least favorite,” “dead” song comes to life when actual people are standing in front of me. Singing the words. And telling the story.

Telling the story!

As a director, as a choreographer, as an actor, as a designer — I have to constantly remind myself to calm down and tell the story.  That’s our job.  Everyone involved in any aspect of a theatrical production can distill their duties down to the simple goal of telling the story.

So that’s what we did.

The story of this particular song involves political ineptitude, angry unrest, a protest, and the urgent desire to flee from a bad situation.

We plan to visually tell the story with a chaotic diagonal entrance, pushing through and pulling back,  a zombie shuffle, wild gesticulations, the pivoting of a mob, and a bumbling mad-dash exit.

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