It has happened. We have begun…
As I write this post, I am sprawled on my couch after a tiring first day of rehearsals for ‘The Strindberg Project’. Going back to work after Christmas is always a little more energy-zapping than it should be. Gone are the days of mindless turkey eating and movie watching, back are the days of productivity, work, and of course, fun!
For me, most rehearsal processes include a mix of excitement and nerves. Everybody is starting on the same blank page and no one knows exactly what is going to happen. Having discussed ‘The Strindberg Project’ for the past few months, I was excited to engage with the text in a more visceral and playful way and see where the experimentation may lead us throughout the process. From the very beginning of the day, there was an incredible group atmosphere amongst cast and crew that gave the impression that everybody was excited and ready for the week ahead.
Despite the cold (The Mart can be chilly), our first rehearsal was extremely positive and productive, full of interesting ideas and images. Led by Maeve and Dan Colley, we spent the day workshopping primarily exploring The Mart as a space and discovering the different tones and textures within each different area of the building. Using the text as our source, we experimented with how we might be able to use different parts of each room in new and interesting ways. The Mart has a lot of character so it was an exciting endeavour to have free reign to explore it in a creative way.We also played a lot with lighting (curtesy of Zia Holly and Molly O’Cathain), finding interesting ways of staging using light and darkness. This is something I think we’re all eager to continue testing throughout the week. The Mart has a lot of character so it was an exciting endeavour to have free reign to play in it.
Maeve was clear from the beginning of the day that this week is all about experimentation, not about squeezing a play out of a four-day rehearsal period. I think this was really important and created an atmosphere of freedom for people to try things out and push boundaries in the rehearsal room without the pressure of feeling ‘does this make sense?’ or ‘can this be used?’
It’s funny where a few hours of workshopping can take you. While we began with nothing, by the end of the day we had lots of new and interesting material which is there to be used or developed further over the coming days.
The ball is rolling and I am excited to see where the rest of the week takes us.
Fionnuala – AD