Non-stop rehearsals for the past few weeks, which explains the woeful amount of theater I’ve been able to see of late. But that’s a good reason, yeah?
This weekend was a double-shot of rehearsing for I’LL BE HOME FOR XMAS, my play in the Best of PlayGround Festival. Saturday and Sunday. I tend not to comment on rehearsals of shows in progress because what are you going to say besides “Things are going great”? But I will say this: Things are going great.
I’ve also been rehearsing for the thing I’m in: the improvised theater show I mentioned earlier. Tuesdays and Thursdays for the past month. It’s been a little rough physically since I’m also working a full-time freelance gig, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything (except maybe a better cliche to end this sentence). These guys are top-notch, and every rehearsal has been like a free workshop in Long-Form Improv Best Practices.
I particularly like Un-Scripted’s approach to opening scenes, where everyone is trying to answer the question, “Who’s the protagonist?” It focuses the entire company on finding the story, building an arc and improvising to a fulfilling ending.
It also keeps people from trying to take over the story by jumping in with their own wacky character and hijacking the show. Or from deflecting and trying to NOT be the protagonist, for that matter. If you’re it, you’re it. You better be ready to be affected by things, to change and to have a good journey. (And to make up songs off the top of your head and, oh yeah, to run a puppet. Which explains why someone might try to deflect.)
So, due to all the shows I either am in or wrote, I’ve had to plan out my theatergoing down to the second. I think I won’t be seeing Anne Washburn’s I HAVE LOVED STRANGERS until the closing week. Ditto for Aaron Loeb’s FIRST PERSON SHOOTER. As for all the other worthy shows out there, I’m trying, I’m trying.