“Next up…..39 Steps. The actors have arrived and the next stages of development are happening here so that we will have a full production ready to go for the enjoyment of the Rochester community October 22. It was great fun seeing this show taking shape.
An interesting prelude to the work of the day was a brief meeting when the actors voted on various bits of union business. How long should lunch be? An hour….or an hour and a half….who will be the rep? Reminding us all that while many of these things seem picky, as Sean said…nearly all the union rules came about because some theatre (likely in NYC) abused the actors in some way…..as most union rules come about! So while we are sure WE would never do any of these abusive things….it is good to have know that the protections are in place!
After introductions, food, and general hellos…I loved to hear Sean set the tone for the production. “I’m not here to have the best ideas in the room, I’m here to hear the best ideas in the room. We need to do this together.” And so it began.
If you ever wondered what a dramaturg does….this was the perfect play to find out. Jean Gordon Ryon is the dramaturg for this production and she presented an amazing amount of background information for the actors. And made everyone feel as though no question or request was out of order, if it would help them with their work.
And then, the Read Through. As many readings as I have been to, I never seem to lose the wonder of how good these actors are and picking up the material , capturing the feeling and not stumbling over the words….even while doing English, Scottish or Canadian accents. Great fun to hear the outline of what this play will create and listen for the elements of Hitchcock throughout. I do have to admit that I’m glad I’m not trying to do this! This is going to be a very, very physical play.