With the final climb up that damn hill made, our time at Hanyang Dae has come to a close. As of Tuesday we will be in the theatre and counting down the days until opening night with fervor. And boy what a way to end it.
Yesterday we ran through the play without stops twice and I was not satisfied as to where the actors where at. They needed more, more effort from me to help them get to their characters and more of a sense of what they must demand of themselves, if that makes any sense.
To finish yesterday I attempted to look at the simple things, the walk. In turn I had each actor walk through the space, firstly as themselves, then as the character within the play and lastly and with more difficulty, as the actor they were portraying. Oh, if it were a simple play and they could be a single entity. I felt by the end of the day that progress had been made and they were all closer to the goal. That of hiding themselves, getting to the actor, then hiding the actor sporadically within the guise of another character. Confused yet?
Today began with the goal of performing in front of the cast of the other play, as they had done for us last week. I didn’t want to rush into things however. So with another agenda in mind I had the cast and chief director, Amanda, try a little experimental theatre I had been craving to try for some time. I had them all reduce their capacity for communication down to a single number and placed them all in a remote space in which none of them would be at home and attempt to bounce them off each other with varying intentions and back stories. To see an idea I had been holding onto for some time have its first outing was a pleasure. There is something in it after all.
Once they were loosened up we went for a run through and even though progress had been made over the previous day it was still not where it could have been. Keeping them in character I treated the preparation for the open performance as if it were indeed a fully blown production. The audience sat themselves and I made the introductions, cell phones off and all that.
Without over embellishing my sentiment in the slightest, I could not have been more proud. They rose to the occasion and blasted away the layers to find the well turned characters underneath. Each of them found feet to walk upon, leap from and bound unhindered from. I was overwhelmed with what they produced and all my fears were shredded like useless flotsam. We are in an outstanding place as we move into the theatre and the tech side of things takes over for a while.
I thank our fine actors most sincerely for their effort, patience and finely crafted 24 carat creations. Cheers guys!!