August workshop


Musings

I am freshly returned from Greece, where as Scott (who plays Walters) suggested, I did some much-needed beach and sea research for the show!

Actually, I did think a lot about the project over my holiday – looking at and swimming in the ocean – the water represents such a significant force in Leda’s life and is so formative to her emotional well-being in the play.

I am really struggling with the balance between naturalism and stylization in the show and trying to puzzle my way through the fusion of the many disparate elements – music, video, movement, but with text very much in the driver’s seat– to create a cohesive visceral work.  The texture of the project feels different from a lot of my other projects but I am eager to find my way into it.

Dramaturgy and Rewrites

Jenny and I got to do a short post-mortem over dinner right after the August workshop, but are looking forward to further conversations with each other and the design staff about how to strengthen the project.

Shooting coming up on Jones Beach and Lower East Side

Tal, Jenny and I will meet in the next couple of weeks to further conceptualize the video and plan our upcoming shoot with Okwui and Todd at the end of this month. We plan to create some new footage showing the everyday past life of Leda and the Stranger as well as reshoots of a bunch of beach and water stuff.

Other design developments

We plan to interview and hire the lighting and costume designers over the next couple of weeks and have a design meeting at the end of the month. I can’t wait to see the next iteration of the set that David is working on.

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This afternoon, we stumbled through this epic show in about 1 hour 50 minutes  (the show needs to be 90 minutes but we will get there) – kudos and thanks to our phenomenal cast and design staff for tackling this piece so gamely in such a condensed period – we are so grateful for your talent and enthusiasm –

Jenny and I had a great dinner talking about what we found and what we were still missing- i foresee edits and changes to the different storylines

I can’t wait to get back into rehearsal on this in December!  Thanks all!

Today, I learned a lot about the dynamics of the world and the characters while fighting space that doesn’t feel right.

kinda frustrating and hard at times——- lots of aha’s, some uh oh’s.

long meeting with Jenny after to untangle some character arcs in the Saturday Act —it is much clearer to both of us now.

2 more days to keep breaking this open before we take a break for a couple of weeks.

its really been intense but very eye-opening.

we are all really psyched for Joe’s Pub tomorrow night……

After lunch, we tackled the three emotionally challenging and sexually charged scenes between Leda and her husband, Walters  (played by Scott). They both did a lot of brave, funny, risky work.

Tal began to develop some amazing ideas about how to organically go from a realistic lighthouse to emotionally evocative rich visuals — we are beginning to really get it.

We also got to try some new soundscape ideas that Kamala and Matt have been hatching. I really think they are going to work on us in subtle emotionally resonant ways – accumulating gradual weight.

This morning, we reworked all of Leda’s scenes with the Stranger in preparation for Tal to reshoot these scenes sometime in September. We made some great discoveries in coming back to this material after first working on it a year ago. Today, we found new rhythms and uncovered a deeper approach to the material.

We also rehearsed the duet between the Stranger and Leda again with Kamala and Drew for the Joe’s Pub gig – Watching Okwui & Todd sing together, I had a great revelation about how I should restage the song for the actual show using the absence of the Stranger in the actual staging  — I can’t wait to try this.

All of the prep work  and rethinking about the Stranger sparked a discussion between Jenny, Tal and I about how to clarify the role of the Stranger’s different video presences – in the past as a memory and in the present as a haunting – this really got us much clearer and things started clicking in a truly exciting way.

today we were working on Eamon (Rudy) and charlotte  (Irene)- they are both these walled-up people who completely open up to each other  in surprising passionate ways.

we did the photo shoot for Josh’s degradation project – we managed to created six completely different locations in our rehearsal room.

we ended the day drinking wine during a great music rehearsal for the Joe’s Pub gig. Todd and Okwui sound great together – we haven’t heard them sing together in almost a year— Kamala and Drew will play live with them and last night we had a blast playing together.

Today we started to work out  how the group scenes work. We have several times in this show when all six characters are on stage trying to get their needs met. Fun!  Hard!  (especially when working so fast….. we are trying to sketch in the whole play this week so we can get a sense of the rhythm of the whole piece by Monday for the open rehearsal.)

Lots, lots of little line changes . (Jenny!)

We made a dent today on how sound might work in the show. Talk with Kamala and Matt on when the big sound bed shifts occur – and what Leda (Okwui) does to cause those shifts. Matt implementing lots of fun, little q’s throughout the day. Kamala off composing some of the new ideas……

Trying to figure out with Tal and Jenny about if its ok for Josh (Stephen) to be a video artist or if its better if he’s a photographer — what are the repercussions of him shooting video of Leda and projecting that for the audience to see—— what do we gain, what do we lose? thinking overnight and will reconvene in the am …

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