Perry Geva Blog #1 2/23/14
So, Griffin and I have joined the cohort group at Geva Theater. This means we get to watch production of the play Informed Consent from start to finish. Today was our first go at it and we went to the blocking rehearsal for an hour and a half. The play is based on a true story about a Native American tribe that has an extremely high rate of diabetes and a geneticist that, in her drive toward success, is not in touch with the cultural impact her choices will have. The play is personalized through both the struggle of the tribe and the geneticists individual/family story.
Griffin, my 16 year old son, agreed to do this with me. His only hesitation was, what would happen if he did not find the play engaging, otherwise he was open-minded. After our time at Geva today, he was pleased with the choice. Here are some of his reflections:
“I did not realize the role of the director and the thought that goes into creating a feeling. ” One example was the way he (the director) let the actress playing “Natalie” know how he liked her choice to sit when portraying the 4 year old. He also spoke about someone who is angry, but controlling that anger being more engaging. “The details mattered. ” Additionally, Griffin reports finding the tribes story engaging, in particular the dialogue around their current state and whom shoulders responsibility for it. He liked that it brought out stereotypes and challenged them.
For myself, I found the section we watched particularly powerful for a number of reasons. As someone who works as an employee of Hillside Family of Agencies, our primary mission is youth guided, family driven care and always collaboration. The tendency, at times, is to think you have the exact resources needed to meet someone else’s problem; this can happen to the exclusion of cultural and family awareness. Good “care” requires listening and collaboration. This story elucidates what can happen in the absence of these qualities. Ironically, and not surprisingly, the rehearsal today and the collaboration shown to bring the play to life were the very example of collaboration and listening well done. I enjoyed really enjoyed the nuances of the staging process and the emotional play of learning the character. The beauty of holding the persona even when the line was off or the actor was going through an audible thinking process was wonderful.
One of the things am really enjoying is the process of doing this with my son and seeing the discussion it sparks. On our way down the stairs to exit the building, the stairway is lined with posters of past performances. Griffin pointed to one and said “I had DOUBT (title on the poster)”, but I learned my “LESSON (another one). Can’t wait for the next part of the adventure.
JEN AND GRIFFIN