Concluding the second week of the lab, and I am most taken by the way the currents of our various projects are flowing into and riffing off of one another. We are continually identifying repetitions of themes, ideas, and images, across a variety of contexts, styles and approaches. Several of us embarked upon a collaborative investigation into the “silent speakers” in each of our pieces. Before the lab began, we shared our projects and conversed about them via Skype. What do the silent characters in each of our plays represent? Why are they silent? Have they chosen not to speak, or have they been silenced? Our explorations revealed many unexpected interconnections. And now, each day, we find new ways in which our pieces reflect, echo and intersect with one another.
Just today we discovered a moment in the rehearsal of Volupté that echoes a moment I witnessed in one of Orly Rabinyan’s rehearsals of Man With a Flower in His Hat. It was actually arrived at in an exploration into the final cryptic stage direction in the script (by Symbolist playwright Rachilde), and one that we hadn’t fully investigated until this point. It wasn’t until we were working it that I was struck, yet again, by the ways in which these two texts mirror each other. After rehearsal last night, Evan Cummings, who is developing an original text, commented that the reverberations from both of these plays (and developmental processes), have been bouncing around his rehearsals, and will be reflected in various ways in the performance of the piece.
But these reverberations are sounding through this entire process. I find myself impacted and inspired by all of the work happening around me, and I am continually struck by the many creative confluences among our projects. Rehearsing on top of each other has connected us to each other in unexpected ways. Of course there are the literal reverberations of sound and activity in the space. Standing on the balcony, you can see and hear three different projects rehearsing at once. You can drift around and catch snippets of each: a silent woman’s dance, a red ball bouncing danger, three burqa-clad women spread-eagle against a wall, a scream, a breakfast ballad, a hat that breathes life. And so much more. You can feel the walls and windows of Irondale vibrating with creative energy.
May our many rivers of inspiration continue to flow and refract.
– Laura Tesman, New York City