Stage manager and assistant director Sofia Lindgren Galloway writes about the rehearsal process:
I met David when I was a reference for a costume designer he hired three years ago. He had just finished his MFA in directing and moved back to Minneapolis. I was a recent college graduate and had just moved to the Twin Cities to start my own directing career. We’ve been keeping in touch about our directing paths and I’m SO EXCITED to be joining him as his assistant on The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood. I met playwright Kat Sherman and choreographer Justin Leaf last December when David invited me to a couple devising workshops for a “performance work inspired by early variations of Sleeping Beauty, and potentially structured as the dreams that Sleeping Beauty has before she wakes up.” A few months later, after the spring work-in-progress presentation with Savage Umbrella’s Night of New Works, I was invited back as David’s assistant and stage manager.
Left: David tries a crown on Torre; Right: Patrick (left) and David (right), working with the Crone costume
I have worn many hats in the last few months as Stage Manager, Assistant Director, composition participant, rehearsal photographer/videographer, and one time post-clogged toilet cleaner. The most exciting thing about working with Collective Unconscious Performance is that we’re all wearing several hats, and often at the same time. David is simultaneously staging moments and designing them. Kat will come into rehearsals with script edits and then jump into a composition. Justin is bouncing back and forth between playing Beauty and choreographing dances. Even the cast is playing multiple roles. They move from mask work, to puppeteers, to dancers, to actors in a matter of minutes; both in rehearsals and in the performance! The versatility of the artists involved with this production is astounding.
Left: Composition moment (I swear I’m somewhere in that pile of bodies); Right: Alana (left) and Mikey (right) waiting for their next pose in a song
We spent the first two weeks of rehearsal training in Viewpoints, Bunraku puppetry, shadow puppetry, and composition work. By devoting time to those specific ways of creating performance, we have learned to move from one to the other quickly in rehearsals. In week three, we’ve moved into staging the show based on composition work. In a matter of days, we’ve managed to stage almost all of the play and by the time you read this, we’ll be well into running the show! (Just don’t look at my blocking notes… they won’t inspire confidence… haha)
Left: Justin teaches choreography; Right: (Left to right) Sarah, Alana, Jessie, and David learning how to use shadow puppets
It's exciting, it's challenging, and I think we will create some really beautiful moments beyond our wildest dreams! But, maybe not beyond Sleeping Beauty’s wildest dreams. I guess you’ll have to come find out for yourself! :)
Patrick, in a moment from the scene “Sun, Moon, and Talia”