By Alex Meda

I am writing from rehearsal. Watching the talented Ysaye work with the ladies is kind of throwing me through a loop actually. It is so similar to our way of devising- which gets a lot of people asking how anything gets done like that.

 

devising with ysaye 2

This dancer/choreographer doesn’t come in with a fully set series of choreographed moves; she builds each movement with the women in the room. She asks them to show her what they feel and she acts as a translator. That is often what I feel Abigail and I do. We try to translate ideas and theory into moments of theatricality.

But in addition to being inspired watching Ysaye work the room with a gentleness that is both impressive and yet still showcases total control, I have to be honest with you guys… I AM FREAKING OUT.

We leave for tour in 4 weeks from this past Friday. Our first performance is four weeks from tomorrow. We have touched less than 1/3 of the scenes we have titled/identified. And I feel like everyday we come upon more and more out of nowhere hurdles. HOW THE HELL DO YOU BUILD A PLAY ABOUT LOVE?

Theatre is hard. duh. Been there done that. —— Trying to merge established and emerging talent in one room, asking actors to create work as a full owner of the work and not just a pawn or puppet– I would argue– can sometimes be unbelievably harder. This isn’t the first cohort that has struggled with making the change from being told how to be creative to coming in and offering ideas that generally go beyond their “job description” as actor.

Ya lo se. Everyone freaks out somewhere along in the process…  but I think I am taking it particularly hard right now because I have strayed from the usual Luna formula for an ensemble devised piece and so I am SCAREEEEEDDDDDD. Instead of the text being our anchor– the thing in which the entertainment is truly found– this shows anchor is movement and media. Dangerous. Truly Dangerous. But potentially a risk that will pay off.

:: this moment just popped into my mind :: I have these memories of myself yelling at no one but myself as Abigail patiently waited for my tantrum to be over wailing THERE IS TOO MUCH TALKING. JUST TOO MUCH FUCKING TEXT AND TALKING. I WANT TO CUT ALL OF IT.

Where it got into my head that the thing that has defined us for so long (our cheeky use of humor to discuss a whole insane range of topics in a way that appeals to people with great difference) is not the main concern in this new piece— I honestly have no idea.

All I know is that this play about love needed some magic even the beauty and power of words would not be able to do alone.

I just need to keep breathing. This show is going to be a beautiful. Too many impressing talented and generous women have contributed ideas, thoughts, stories, memories, and creativity for it not to be.

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