You've both been working on this show awhile, doing readings, etc. What's been the biggest surprise putting it on its feet during rehearsal for the full production?
Lindsay Eagle: How fresh it feels. We've been working on this play for so long, with the same actors, and the words still feel very fresh. We are constantly making new discoveries in rehearsal, and it's very exciting. My favorite thing is probably the look on Charlie or Jeff's face when one of us points out something particularly interesting in rehearsal, something particularly exciting or even terrifying and it hits them in that very special actor place, and then it immediately shows up in the scene work. I just love that.
Cassie Seinuk: The biggest surprise now that we are in rehearsal, for me, is the amount of script changes. At first I thought, “Oh this play has been through so much development there will just be a couple lines here or there that get changed once the actors are up on their feet.” Now that our first week of rehearsal is complete, I think I can say we edited at least three lines a rehearsal, added new lines, and I even rewrote two pages during the climax of the play. And this was all done during early table work and blocking; I'm excited to see what the next three weeks bring the script. It really is so different to have them up on their feet moving around and making the discoveries that just feel impossible to make until your actors are moving and reacting in the bodies of the characters. For instance, there was one line that Sara, our Dramaturg, was like “I know this is Ilan's line, but doesn't it sound more like something Andrew would say?” Then we tried it and realized how much better and clearer the beat was with the line given to Andrew.
Another big surprise is also seeing the design beginning to play out and having those elements evolving around us from just ideas and words into taping out a 16 by 11 foot diamond on the floor to represent the size of the room, or deciding on a love seat instead of a full couch and then navigating the rules of who sits on the couch when, now that sitting side by side is a little bit... cozier than expected.
There's been snow. A lot of snow. How have you guys been dealing with all of these weather (and T-related and health-related) issues during the first week of rehearsal?
CS: The weather this past week has made us tune into our survival instincts as this it has kept us captive in our homes and far away from rehearsal. We survived and made it work by helping each other push cars out of The Shorts’ driveway, Google Hangout-ed a table work rehearsal, and we even shifted some schedules to outsmart the newest blizzard. Overall, it hasn't been a walk in the park, but at least we are all pulling together and making it happen. I'm so grateful to have such a dedicated team! Like they say in this business, the show must go on!
LE: Honestly, the first week has been particularly tough for me because I developed a sinus infection the day our second rehearsal was supposed to be – which was, of course, snowed out by blizzard #2 (3? 4?) of the last few weeks. I am not very good at being sick. You're supposed to stay home and rest and take care of yourself – but I don't WANT to do that when there's so much STUFF to be done! So that's been hard for me. I had to miss our second real rehearsal because I couldn't get out of bed, but our Assistant Director, Walker, really picked up the slack and helped lead rehearsal with Sara, our Dramaturg, and Cassie, our Playwright. I was sad to miss it, but with all the snow we've had, it was important they be in the room together and at least do some rehearsing. But despite the struggle, spirits are high, faces are smiling, I'm on antibiotics, and we are plowing into our second week, snow be damned!
What are you most looking forward to in the coming weeks before previews?
CS: I am most excited about the first time we do a run of the whole play on its feet without scripts in hand. That's usually the litmus test of a play and a process, where we can really evaluate where we are at and where we need to go. Then the real nitty-gritty, and delicious, precision work comes in, and that's one of my favorite parts of a process.
I am also looking forward to all the design elements coming together and actually seeing the world I wrote existing! That will be pretty damn cool!
LE: I'm excited to get some of the movement-based stuff into the room. I don't want to get too spoiler-y, but there is some very specific physicality in this play, including the sensation of choking and some active onstage violence. I'm very excited to get Rose, our Violence Choreographer, in the room and get that up on its feet.
So, how's your ping-pong game doing?
LE: My partner Dave absolutely loves ping-pong, so I've played a LITTLE bit – and not to brag, but Dave actually told me, the first time I played with him, that he didn't believe I'd never played before. Don't start taking bets on me next Monday at the Ping Pong Challenge! I'm honestly really not that good. But hopefully I won't entirely embarrass myself!
CS: My ping-pong game is the worst. I'm probably the worst of all of us.
See Lindsay and Cassie’s ping-pong skills for yourself on Monday, February 23rd at Blazing Paddles for our FROM THE DEEP fundraiser!