Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Long (Theatre) Weekend

It's Memorial Day weekend in the States, and it's another Bank Holiday weekend in the UK. So again, I have Monday off from school--whoo hoo! I should spend the day focusing on plot/script/character development for One Thing May Lead to Another (which goes up in less than a month's time), but let's be honest and up-front: I probably won't. The most I may be able to get myself to do is read a couple chapters in my Charlie Chaplin book and call it "research." (Incidentally, that was how I justified dedicating a week's worth of free time to watch all four seasons of Jeeves and Wooster. Thank goodness British television only ever lasts 6 episodes a season, otherwise I'd be way behind.) It feels almost indulgent to be neglecting work on a day that is so open for getting some done, but what it comes down to is:

I'm frakkin' tired.

Friday was twelve-and-a-half hours of theatre making (in at 9:00, released at 21:40), that basically ended with a near twelve minute devised telling of the Oedipus story. Yes, that's right: we averaged about one minute of performance per hour in rehearsal (a number that actually doesn't seem too far fetched if you really think about it). What we ended up with was still a bit raw, and clearly in a workshopy place in aesthetic and execution, but was actually a complete performance with some interesting moments of theatricality in it. Considering the length of time we had to develop the work, I'm quite proud of what we generated. The director, psychologist, and other actors were all great to work with, as was the project's facilitator Nessah. My friends Caitlin, Heidi, Loukia and Max were in the audience on Saturday, and I was touched that they came out to support me. And Simon McBurney was there, which was pretty bemusing to me.

I got a couple hours break after the performance ended Saturday afternoon, and then headed off to rehearsal at Central. I was only going in for an hour, to really catch up with what my ensemble members had done while I was gone--they had rehearsed Friday without me, as well as earlier in the day on Saturday. I arrived, they showed me some footage of scenes they'd improvised in character, we talked a little about my character and how she needs to fit in/serve the structure of the plot (which is a place of debate and confusion for me as of late) in order to justify her existence. I'm more than a little stressed about this, but more about that some other time. Anyway, finished rehearsal, went home for a couple hours, then hit up the Camden Odeon for Angels and Demons. My recommendation: It's a pass. Majorly. Unless you're homesick for Rome. And if you're wondering: no, there was sadly no melted butter to save the experience this time, though Max and I were masters the MST3K-style commentary. (God I miss that show...)

Today, after a lame jog with Max (my fault) and banging my left knee a couple times--rather magnificently in each instance I must add--I went down to the BAC to rehearse for an "event" I'll be participating in this Thursday and Friday as part of the BURST Festival. "Event" is in quotations because the artist who conceived it described it as such today, rather than calling it a "performance." It's called Handbag Scratch. I should explain something--in the UK, a scratch is basically an evening hosted for the sake of a group of artists (most often writers) who are creating new material and want to see what works and what doesn't. The BAC is big on helping artists develop new work, and the institution hosts several "scratch night" evenings to accommodate this. (For all my NY theatre peeps out there, this would be a non-competitive version of SLAM!) So the "event" is still in development, but is pretty cute as it stands. I won't divulge the details until it's done, but I will say that the women over sixty who are participating in it make the whole thing for me. It was a quick and easy rehearsal, and we (Loukia is also performing in the "event") were out of there in just under two hours. Amazing. Then tonight I headed back to Camden for the Accidental Festival closing night party with Heidi, and now am curling up for bed.

I'm sure there's a moral to this weekend, and I probably know what it is, but I'm too out of it to write it to you now. Good night, friends.

1 comment:

Raz Cunningham said...

you seem busy and happy.... i like that