Inherit the Wind Entry 3: Baby Steps

Brady at the End of His Rope
Brady at the End of His Rope – Notice the beautiful floor!!

Thursday night, April 29 2016

We are on stage, on the beautifully painted floor, and re-visiting several of the crowd scenes.  We’ll have to talk more in depth about the importance of the townspeople in the show, but that will have to wait.  Today, we are reviewing.

The rehearsal process usually breaks out into 3 broad phases.  There is the blocking phase (the initial pass through the material that establishes the general movement of the players on the stage).  We are pretty much past that already, although there may still be a few more scenes that haven’t been blocked.

At the end will come the polishing phase.  At that point the show will be pretty settled and the focus will be on fine tuning all the elements as we make final preparations for performance.  We’re not really close to that yet.

Tonight, we are in the middle phase – the exploration.  At this point, everything about the show is in some state of flux.  Some of the actors have already made great strides in memorizing lines (one of the major objectives in this stage), but all of the characters and their relationships are very much under development.  Even though we have been blocked, there is still much to discover about how everything will play on the stage.

Significantly, exploration is the portion where pieces of business get added and/or taken out.  This is where ideas are tried out.  It is that fascinating process of converting theory into reality.

At some point in the near future, I’ll want to sit down with Director Mark Neels and talk about this, but I get the feeling this is probably his favorite part of the process.  There are times when he seems to be everywhere at once.  I actually tried to get a few pictures of him, but he moves so fast that I couldn’t get focused and snapped in time.  This was the best I could get:

Director Mark Neels is not really surrendering just yet
Director Mark Neels is not really surrendering just yet

One of the early off-book actors is Mary Robert, cast in the show as EK Hornbeck.  Here’s Mary:

Mary Robert as EK Hornbeck Converses with an Invisible Monkey - That's Right! an invisible Monkey
Mary Robert as EK Hornbeck Converses with an Invisible Monkey – That’s Right! an invisible Monkey!

Mary and I go way back.  This is another interview we’ll have to have pretty soon.

One of the most important goals of the exploration stage is for everyone to get comfortable in the environment of the play.  It’s still very early, but I think a lot of that is already starting to happen (in spite of the fact that it was freezing in the theatre last night!)

It’s baby steps right now, but we’re getting there.

Matthew Harrison Brady Savors his Victory over Henry Drumstick (er, Drummond)
Matthew Harrison Brady Savors his Victory over Henry Drumstick (er, Drummond)

60 thoughts on “Inherit the Wind Entry 3: Baby Steps”

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