***This was originally posted on 1/3/15***
Today was the first rehearsal for the play I’m directing that opens in February: How I Learned to Drive. It was exciting and exhausting and wonderful to be back in the rehearsal room. Last night I could barely sleep it almost felt like Christmas all over again.
Of course, having rehearsals added to our family schedule requires quite a bit of juggling and sacrifice from Dan and I, and those we have helping with childcare, so we agreed before having the baby that 1. We would wait until our little one was 6 months old before attempting to jump back into the theatre world and 2. We would only work on projects we felt really strongly about. How I Learned to Drive fit perfectly. Our son is now 7 months and …Drive is a dream project.
This play is more or less Paula Vogel’s feminist response to Lolita. It’s complicated and beautiful, surprisingly hopeful and startlingly funny. Beginning rehearsals today was exhilarating. Hearing the play come to life even at the read through and then starting to put it all on its feet. To be honest, blocking is my least favorite part of the process as an actor. I wish I could just download blocking into my brain and get to the juicy part of making connections. But as a director it tells me a lot as I watch my instincts hit bumps in the road or turn out better than I thought or see an actor impulse that we can use to build a moment.
I feel lucky to have an opportunity to create in my hometown, especially since it seems so many theaters are struggling at the moment. I feel even luckier that I had such amazing people to pick from at callbacks to cast this show and that I have such a solid ensemble. And bonus: the last time I was in rehearsals was about a year ago and a lot of that time was spent battling some unsavory pregnancy symptoms of which I will spare you the details… at least for this post… so it was awesome to be back in the room with more focus outside myself!
If you want to know more about How I Learned to Drive, we are going to have a blog up for that project, so I will direct you there once I have the address. If you’d like to purchase tickets to this show and/or the show running in rep with it (Sylvia, a comedy by A.R. Gurney which is also going to be fabulous) then you can purchase those HERE or HERE. If you aren’t local I highly recommend reading these scripts. 🙂