One thing I have learned over the years – as a director, one must be ready to adjust to the unforeseen difficulties and/or changes of opinion (your opinion). Sometimes it involves something major, like an actor not working out in the part they were given. Or it can be ideas that you held in your preparation for the play that turn out to be just the wrong way of looking at things. While it certainly is important to have notions about what direction you want to give the play, there is always the unknown key ingredient of what the actors bring to the stage and the impact that has on your original notions.

The gist is: have an open mind for changes and do not let them throw you. The actual difficulties I face are none of those listed above; indeed, they were not even unforeseen. My difficulty, OUR difficulty is that tonight we meet for the last time for nearly a week – not having access to the theatre or stage for any purpose until next Monday. It was not unforeseen – it is the same issue I related in the last blog post. The stage belongs to an outside show coming in to perform this weekend. And I knew about it from day one.

What I lament is the momentum we will lose. Oh, I have craftily set the first rehearsals “off book” for that coming Monday and Tuesday (act one on the first day, act two on the second) so maybe the actors will stay in contact with their books as they try to get off them (ie. learn their lines). But that cannot take the place of regular sessions with their other cast-mates. Oh yes, I could have set up rehearsals off-site, but I have done those before and found it is not the same. And I do not have an off-site location. People’s homes work badly, or so it seems from my perspective.

Regardless – the die is cast. We go a full week with no contact between actors and actors or actors and director. I do feel lucky that this is a veteran bunch of actors who will no doubt  weather the storm and regroup faster than many others might. I am also pleased that the script is a collection of vignettes, so there is no long story arc to piece together and engineer.

Come next Monday, we go into move quickly mode. The stage is all ours – the set must be constructed from the array of measured and cut pieces, we will regroup as a full cast for the first time since the first rehearsal when we read through the play – and the intensity….will be intense.