October 8, 2010

"A Half-Constructed House," Circle Mirror Transformation

Contributed by Lisa Timmel, Director of New Work

One of the great pleasures of working behind the scenes at a theatre company is the joyful terror of a first real run-through. On Wednesday, a handful of staff members including Bethany Ford (associate production manager), Charles Haugland (literary associate), Christopher Wigle (producing diretcor), and myself attended a run thru of Circle Mirror Transformation. The actors and director are now at a very particular turning point in the rehearsal process. They've worked individual beats and scenes. They've begun to learn blocking. They are all "off-book," meaning that the actors have memorized their lines, but still need to call for a prompt every now and again. They are working the language of the play into their bodies. And so, an early run-through like today's is a bit like talking a walk thru of your half-constructed house with your architect and your contractor: the cabinets are in but they are waiting for that final finish, walls are constructed but the paneling, the carpeting, the fixtures — the things that make a sturdy structure a home — are waiting to be installed. And that's what Director Melia Bensussen and her incredible cast will be doing over the next week, turning an expertly built but unvarnished production into a lived-in world.

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