We’re about a week into the rehearsal period for Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol and the magic is already taking place. Each night new discoveries are made as these master storytellers delve deeper and deeper into these characters.
Rehearsals are a very interesting beast. They are very laborious and, at the beginning, repetitive. And I don’t mean that negatively. When actors first work on a script, it is done in very small chunks. Actors need to learn where to enter and exit and execute those movements numerous times so it looks smooth. There is also the experimentation with the character. In the early goings, I always have an idea of what my character is, but I constantly throw stuff against the wall to see what sticks and often gain new insights in doing so.
Of course, good directing is needed to harness all of this creativity and guide it to the whole. Some directors come in and they have every jot and tittle of the show mapped out. They know where each and every character enters and exits and they know how they want the actors to say each and every word.
Then you have directors like Kevin. Kevin is a very staunch believer in the organic nature of acting and trusting in his actors to make the discoveries. His role is more of a facilitator where he tweaks things here and there and serves as counsel to the actors. Kevin believes in this so strongly that he would prefer actors not to have read a script before an audition just to see the discoveries that they make at the auditions and the natural qualities they possess.
I didn’t really understand this ideology until I worked with him in W;t. At our first readthrough, one of the performers gave an impressive read on a line and Kevin said that was great, but not to get committed to that read as we were just on the beginning of this journey and then I understood it.
This week, I’ll actually get to work onstage a little with the actors and I look forward to actually being able to perform again, even if just for a night. More importantly, I look forward to that next audition.
But, most importantly, I look forward to that next rehearsal to see what new treasures these Marley men unearth.