Dramaturgy


Jenny & I recently had lunch with Anna Gutto, who wrote this great article about the show for the Brooklyn rail:

http://www.brooklynrail.org/2010/02/theater/ibsens-burrito-sounding-at-here

 

Hilda's Family Tree

We have been exploring the journey of each character in between scenes in rehearsal. Hilda has found a relationship to chalk drawing and tracing in the piece, and has incorporated an emotional arc with it into various moments in the play. Read about this in her own words below:

I’m a kind of truth spy. I am construct a world based on present observation in order to understand and survive past experiences. I trace the contour of things that are real and unspoken: pills & bottles- the symbols of everyone’s coping.  Hilda takes care of Hilda and checks her own abilities by pushing others. Her strength is reflected by her power to highlight the strength in others.

 I don’t want to erase what I trace or draw. I don’t want to hide. I have chalk dust on me in scenes, unapologetically. Other characters can choose to acknowledge it, even still- it’s there, on me. It is me. ” – Hilda (Ana Kayne)

Jenny Gibbs calls SOUNDING an homage to Henrik Ibsen’s LADY FROM THE SEA.  The article linked below is from The Guardian published yesterday on one actor’s journey to find Ibsen.  http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2010/feb/02/antony-sher-henrik-ibsen

And read the full text of LADY FROM THE SEA at Project Gutenberg here: http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/world/readfile?fk_files=1058096

Tomorrow is our last day in the rehearsal space before moving onto HERE Arts Center where we tech until we open on February 17.    Our set designer and technical team have been loading in since early Monday morning and we are thrilled to be working in the actual space.  Check out what we’ve been up to til now:

Thursday, January 28

Today we had the full cast in shifts for continuing scene work.  Where video is added each scene responds to the element differently, sometimes in pleasant surprises and sometimes making clear to us that a choice doesn’t work and needs to be changed.

Friday, January 29

Full cast worked thru Acts I and II then ran the acts as far as time allowed.  This play requires actors to be onstage and present for the duration- and we’re beginning to realize just how long those interstitial scenes can feel – especially for the actor 6 feet away from the playing action who’s been given the direction to abstract a movement sequence for four pages!  Today, we keep playing.

Saturday, January 30

Full cast worked thru Act III then ran the show.  Kim Whitener, Producing Director of HERE Arts Center, and Pete McCabe (HERE’s dramaturg) joined us for the run and to share their thoughts afterwards.

Sunday, January 31

No day off here.  Okwui and Michael came in for scene work while Kristin, Okwui and I begin a full one-on-one (on-one?) talk through for Leda’s emotional arc.  Ninety minutes later we were almost through Act I.

Monday, February 1

Load-in begins at HERE while the full cast works Act III moment to moment.  We run the show again.  Our composer, lighting designer, set designer, and Melanie Joseph of The Foundry Theater were among invited guests to share their notes afterwards.  Never having seen the work, Melanie’s notes were a valuable fresh perspective. Going strong into the night, the production team then paper tech-ed lights and sound.  Who needs sleep.

Tuesday, February 2

We continued our one-on-one’s exploring character arcs with Michael, Stephen and Rudy today.  During the day Okwui was a total vocal trooper as we worked all four songs for nearly 5 hours.  The four of us in the room could sing every note by the time we had to strike  video in the rehearsal room today.

Tomorrow we walk the rest of our equipment two blocks north and Rie lights our gorgeous REAL space!!

Ciao-

Week Three finished up strong and we’re into our last week before loading into the HERE Arts Center Mainstage for tech.  Check it out- Week in Review:

Friday, January 22

Okwui worked through the opening for Act III with Tal and Jane building cues madly through the course of the day.  These sequences are intricately designed in conjunction with script and acting discoveries on a daily basis.  The full cast joined in the afternoon to work through Act III.  Seeing the piece in larger chunks is beneficial and also raises contanst questions.

Saturday, January 23

Today we revisitied Act II, working through the end beat by beat before we ran the show from top to almost bottom!  We’re, um, a bit over time but, no worries… early stages…

Monday, January 25

Rudy and Irene.  Stephen and Ana.  There were sparks all day.

Tuesday, January 26

All I can remember from today was major conversation about the ending.  WHAT HAPPENS TO LEDA? is a question still debated in this rehearsal room; raising it effectively keeps everyone in the room at the emotional stakes we hope our audience will find during the performance.

Wednesday, January 27

Today we began work on our closing sequences for each act which  heavily involve video and sound similar to our opening sequences.  The past rehearsals have emphasized finding parallels, reflections, and echos between scenes and the video is clarifying these attempts throughout.  Oh, and we choreographed cake sex.

More rehearsal photos to come!

JK

We were working on the third song SACRIFICE and have decided to explore trance dance as a jumping off point for the physicality.

Voodoo Trance Dance

Dances of Ecstasy:

Clip from The Divine Horseman: The Living Gods of Haiti

Analytic Couch:

-All patients imbue the couch with transference meaning. For patients, in the popular mind, the analytic couch is the quintessential symbol of psychoanalysis, with all its connotations, whether common or idiosyncratic.

– The couch has become the analyst’s trademark and logo. The conflation of analyst and couch into the sanctioned semblance of psychoanalytic treatment appears to have been accepted by psychoanalysts as much as by the public. It is exceedingly rare to see the routine use of the couch either challenged or affirmed in the psychoanalytic professional literature. The use of the couch seems to be taken for granted when psychoanalysis is the treatment of choice. To be sure, not every analyst does in fact position every patient on the couch regardless of other considerations. There are some psychoanalysts who occasionally, but rarely, will analyze their patients in a sit-up, face-to-face position when this seems indicated. Except for omitting the use of the couch, such analyses may be technically indistinguishable from the traditional analytic methods. From ¬¬Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, 1995

Pills:

Anti-anxiety drugs, also known as tranquilizers, are medications that relieve anxiety by slowing down the central nervous system. Their relaxing and calming effects have made them very popular: anti-anxiety drugs are the most widely prescribed type of medication for anxiety. They are also prescribed as sleeping pills and muscle relaxants. Benzodiazepines are the most common class of anti-anxiety drugs.

They include: Valium, Ativan, Xanax Benzodiazepines and are fast acting—typically bringing relief within thirty minutes to an hour. Because they work quickly, benzodiazepines are very effective when taken during a panic attack or another overwhelming anxiety episode. But despite their potent anti-anxiety effects, they have their drawbacks.

Common side-effects: Drowsiness, lack of energy. Clumsiness, slow reflexes. Slurred speech. Confusion and disorientation. Depression. Dizziness, lightheadedness. Impaired thinking and judgement. Memory loss, forgetfulness. Nausea, stomach upset. Blurred or double vision

Garden Hose:

-The image of a curled up garden hose readily prompts processing of a snake- linking it to male sexuality. Recalls snake imagery from the Garden of Eden, and recalls Eve’s temptation.

-The serpent is one of the oldest and most widespread mythological symbols. Considerable overlap exists in the symbolic values that serpents represent in various cultures. Some such overlap is due to the common historical ancestry of contemporary symbols. Much of the overlap, however, is traceable to the common biological characteristics of snakes. In some instances, serpents serve as positive symbols with whom it is possible to identify or to sympathize; in other instances, serpents serve as negative symbols, representing opponents or antagonists of figures or principles with which it is possible to identify. Serpents also appear as ambivalent figures, neither wholly positive nor wholly negative in valence.

    

Wine:

The use of wine in religious ceremonies is common to many cultures and regions. Libations often included wine, and the religious mysteries of Dionysus used wine as a sacramental entheogen to induce a mind-altering state. In classical mythology, Dionysus is the god of wine, the inspirer of ritual madness and ecstasy, and a major figure of Greek mythology, he is not one of the twelve Olympians as it is mostly believed. The geographical origins of his cult were unknown to the classical Greeks, but all myths depicted him as having “foreign” origins; Dionysus is typical of the god of the epiphany, “the god that comes”. He was also known as Bacchus, the name adopted by the Romans and the frenzy he induces, bakkheia. He is the patron deity of agriculture and the theater. He was also known as the Liberator freeing one from one’s normal self, by madness, ecstasy, or wine. The divine mission of Dionysus was to mingle the music of the aulos and to bring an end to care and worry.

        

-Posted by Elenna Mosoff

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