Everyone has experienced it: the moment of utter panic as you witness something disastrous, the split second of action in which you try to stop it from happening, with no clue as to if you will or will not be successful. Maybe your child darted into the street right in front of you, or that truck came far too close on the highway. This is the emotion that permeated much of the discussion this evening, by way of a beautiful, subtle extended metaphor discovered in The Flora & Fauna. From an older mother remembering her own fear when her young child nearly ran off the face of a cliff because she was distracted, to a new mother struggling not to run off the cliff herself, the image struck a chord with everyone in the room.
This was another night focused on digging into each scene individually, finding the deepest moments, the hidden golden nuggets found in every script, and coaxing them out into the light through understanding, intentions, timing, tempo, and all the other layers used to create a cohesive piece of art. Rather than driving to get through the entire script in an evening, the team slowed down to dive into each scene and give it the time and nurturing it needed.
Decisions were also made as to how the staged reading this process will conclude with would look. The tables of the previous evenings were abandoned by the end of the evening, shoved aside for the chairs, cubes, and music stands that would become their set. Three areas of the stage were identified, and scenes assigned to them, with the hope that each set up they created would allow the actors to take advantage of the different physical levels and motions that the team found most prudent to the action of each scene, capturing the essence of the show without fully staging the show. It was also decided that the Assistant Director, Hannah Stewart, would take up residence on the stage as well, reading those stage directions the audience would miss in the minimal staging performed.
All in all, it was a very full night of hard work from all involved. From the deep analysis of the script to experimenting with how it could best be presented, the team left full of ideas, brimming with emotions, and ready for a good night’s sleep.