Tonight was the first rehearsal for Ashland University's production of "In the Event of My Death". Scott had Lindsay and I each call in to say 'hi' to the cast and to share with them the process thus far and what our goals were for the project. My goal was to have the play grow and develop as much as possible and that I was looking forward to hearing about their discoveries throughout the process.
When I got off the phone I was exhilarated. I knew that the next thing to happen was probably going to be them turning to the first page and reading the script together, for the first time, as the ensemble that would be bringing this play to life. I was excited to see this photo on cast member Eryn Tramel's (Becky) Facebook page.
At 10:15 tonight Scott Hudson sent a text to Lindsay and I saying "We tracked the play tonight. It grounded us in facts." Attached was this video:
Scott talked with me after the rehearsal and said they didn't do a traditional read through of the play. He didn't want them to get attached to the emotion of the world. He wanted to ground them in the facts. They did a dig for facts. It was a bit of archeology of the world. In the video they identified the facts of events that lead up to and occur during the play. I love this video. It is incredibly specific. Scott talked about how specificity of the circumstance brings the emotional life.
He wanted them to hear the play in a different way. As they dug into the specifics of the events the room went from the giddy feeling of 'we're putting on a play' to a sober feeling. A positive sober room. Through answering the questions of what, when, how - they became aware of what the event of the play was and what, as artists, they were being asked to confront. Through their investigative work it became clear that events of the play were all plausible. And it began to become real.
Also in the room from Ashland was Dr. Kimberly Field-Springer, Associate Professor in their Communications Department. Scott shared her enthusiasm for the play. Dr. Field-Springer specifically talked about the value of the play regarding the media and social issues in society and during their discussion confirmed that this is how events like this go down. I am grateful she is in the room and will be part of this process. Hopefully at some point she will add to the blog her perspective.
Scott let me know that we have two more team members to share:
Rebecca Lyman - Stage Manager
Leslie Nunez - Assistant Stage Manager
Scott also shared that a student, a journalism major, will be taking on the role of reporting on their process - I look forward to meeting her and reading her perspective on the process.
Thank you all for being part of the process.
Talk with you soon.