What a fantastic week this has been! We ended our first week of rehearsal today, strangely enough, by working on the first scene of the play. Many times, rehearsal starts at the start, beginning with scene one and going from there. But, I think, it all depends on the play.
After our first night of rehearsal, we had two nights of physical exploration and play. If you read Rebecca Noon's blog post Saturday, you will surely have an idea that this is a physical company of actors. We had some questions to explore which would help us on the production side of things (would we need certain set pieces or would the actors be able to do it, etc). I also wanted to introduce the company to this text and work them together as an ensemble, so as we started to approach getting on our feet, instead of starting with Hannay's monologue at the beginning, we began with the train sequence, which I had broken down into four separate "beats".
I was hoping to find an entry into this text through their talents as "physical" performers, i.e., their background in Lecoq-based training. We had a great deal of fun working these moments and I feel that it was the right place to begin.
By Saturday afternoon, we began working with some of the more traditional scene work. Although, I don't think anything in The 39 Steps is all that typical. This work is difficult to describe outside of the room. I don't think I will attempt that tonight except to say that it's creation, in all its various forms - working as an ensemble to discover what the play is telling us and finding in ourselves as artists how best to craft the moments. Let's say this too - it's a comedy, so suffice it to say, we are having a lot of laughs...
...we look forward to sharing this laughter with you in 34 days...
I've pasted a couple of images from the week below. Enjoy!