Acting Directing

Can You Step Into the Same River Twice?

You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.
– Heraclitus

So I’m playing a little hookey from Theatrefolk again, but this time I’m doing a show close enough to home that I can commute. I’ll be sharing some of my experiences here, but probably not as often as when I was doing Brighton Beach Memoirs. The play I’m doing now (Last of the Red Hot Lovers) isn’t done in high schools (at least I hope it isn’t done in high schools!)

This is the second time I’ve done this play. The last time was 9 years ago and I did the show with Kristin Gauthier, who would later collaborate with Lindsay on …and a Groundhog in a Pear Tree and Shout! And I’m so thrilled to be doing the show with her again. It was a great experience and I think this time will be even better.

This time I’m much closer to the character’s age and it’s amazing how many things I now see in the script that I never saw before.

In a two week rehearsal period you normally spend the first week on basic stuff like character, choices, and blocking. You also start to get to know your scene partner(s) and how you play off each other. The second week is spent solidifying and building the rhythms and chemistry you need to be onstage together.

The funny struggle I feel this first week is that we already have the rhythms and the chemistry – it all came flooding back during the table read. So in one regard it feels like we’re way ahead. But while our rhythms are pushing toward performance level, we’re getting tripped up with basic stuff like blocking and lines. So simple blocking mistakes that would be normal in week one feel like major errors to us. The fact of the matter is that we’re on schedule and have plenty of time to get this thing together.

Anyhow…

I’m wondering what it’s like to revisit a show from a director’s perspective.

Have you ever re-directed a show? Why did you do it? Did it turn out to be a good idea? How did you make the productions different?

About the author

Craig Mason