As he prepares for load in and technical rehearsals at the end of this week, director and designer David Hanzal reflects on the rehearsal process for The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood:
I can’t believe that four weeks of rehearsal have come and gone! We’ve sweat, we’ve fought, we’ve cried, we’ve re-thought and re-written the opening and closing scenes more times than we can count. We’ve had nights where our experiments have failed, and nights where I have thought to myself, This devised new work thing is too hard! This is the last play I’m ever going to direct! But then we pick ourselves back up and go back into the rehearsal room the next day, and it always gets better and we always discover what the play was meant to be. We move forward. We revise. We refresh.
We have two days of rehearsal left, before we take a couple of days off for the Thanksgiving holiday. But even though we’ll be “away” from the rehearsal room, I know that my director-designer-creator brain will still be firing away at top speed: Am I taking care of the audience? Are all of the dramaturgical systems tracking? Will we ever find the “right” ending? Is the play compelling… and complicated? Are all of the visual and design elements working together to evoke Beauty’s visceral/creepy/magical/sexy dream world?
When we come back the day after Thanksgiving, we will be loading into our performance venue, adding technical elements (lights, sound, costumes, and set), and adjusting our blocking and choreography from small rehearsal rooms to the vast scope of the Red Eye Theater’s stage. It’s quick, it’s stressful, and it’s exhilarating. (Coffee helps.)
Even though rehearsals for a new, multi-disciplinary, ensemble-driven play are never easy, we’ve emerged stronger, more articulate artists, and we are now more specific and more intentional about the choices that we are making as storytellers. From questions come conversation and exploration, which breeds a product that is richer and far more complex than what we could have created all on our own. I’m proud of the work that we’ve created together, collaboratively, and I can’t wait to share it with an audience, starting December 2.
So, please – join us for this new, never-before-seen, original work of theatre before it’s too late. Because, after we close on December 11, this magical world that we have created will cease to exist forever.
Tickets are selling fast! More information about purchasing tickets for The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood may be found here.
All photos by Logan Verdoorn