6:30 AM, Friday morning. We drive to Brattleboro today for a penultimate rehearsal.
All the costumes are done, the set has its final touches. I’ve got some last minute hats, a shotgun (prop), and a box of nuts, wings, and bolts in my car. The sound designer and stage manager finished working cues last night.
My downstairs neighbor woke up playing some heavy metal, so my bed was reverberating with a thwunkathump thwunkathump rhythm when my alarm went off. As if I needed that to get me more pumped for our opening, but it’s nice to have a soundtrack to go along with the story, I guess.
So much about this process for me has been about giving away. I’ve been carrying around this script since before I could legally imbibe, and my relationship with the two main characters has matured as I have. It has changed. As we’ve moved through rehearsal the play has become it’s own story, Jensen’s poetry has become action, and the characters are now flesh. It’s been great fun to watch and shape and mold and guide.
And now we get to the point of the biggest change, when it becomes their show. That’s what we prepare for as directors, isn’t it? The giving away, the sending off? Making sure a play is well stocked before its voyage.
OK, maybe I’m waxing poetic a bit, but to be fair Two-Headed went into pre-production over a year ago. It has beenand will be a journey for the next four weeks. Kara, SerahRose, Meaghan, myself and the rest of GAN-e-meed will keep moving it along, and it will continue to change as we move through that step process.
When I’m working on a play, I can’t help but seeing everything in life through that lens. Hettie and Lavinia, the two women in the play, change so much through their five stages of life. We really do get to see how life affects them over time, what they take from each other, and what they hold on to in the end. We get to live the constants and the variables. And like them, we’ve got something solid, a well-rehearsed show, but it will become something new by the end. There’s a song by Cheryl Wheeler called 75 Septembers, and she asks, “Are you more amazed by how things change/ or how they stay the same?”
That’s the question I have now. We have a solid show, beautiful actors, dynamite design, and tomorrow we have an audience. It’s going to be different with people there. I’m curious, excited, my heart is beating to the rhythm of the second floor’s grooves. I can’t wait to see the change!