Friday, July 07, 2017

Glenngary Glen Ross

I am still around, loyal blog readers, and I am in the aforementioned play.

But of a crazy trip for this one. It was supposed to go on in February, not long after I took part in the 24 theatre festival, about which I wrote in the previous post. But community theatre being what it is, schedules fell apart at the last minute and it was postponed until August, with rehearsals having started last month, to a degree.

Schedules are still not great, and for that reason rehearsals have taken a somewhat usual format. Thus far I (playing Williamson) have only officially rehearsed one scene-the very first of the play. Because rehearsal times are split between groups of actors at the moment, I've only had one-hour rehearsal slots.

This is unusual for me, and carries its own difficulties, especially since until this week, I had only one such session a week. Even with reviewing at home, it is not the best way to get into a role or a scene. But that is what we have, so one works with it.

Next week we begin to at least rehearse Act II, because at last all of the actors needed for those sessions will be present at the same time. I think (and hope) I will get a bit more out of those rehearsals because longer pieces of the script will be performed at once. (All of Act II) and further, I will be present for two hours instead of just one. That will be, I think a big help for me.

We don't have much time to get this show ready, since we open on the third week of August. I have no reason to believe we can't do so, but it will require some extra effort. (And in fact, "Shelly Levene" and myself have already made plans to stay after rehearsals a bit next week to work some of our scenes a few more times.

One other aspect of being in, and blogging about this show involved the playwright himself, David Mamet.

He is, to be honest, a litigious writer. He has no problem suing productions of his plays for the smallest of infractions. Theaters are not even allowed to have discussions of his plays with an audience after a performance. He doesn't like people changing or adapting the slightest thing. That is his legal right, though I find it artistically weak-minded. Nevertheless it makes me reluctant to share as much detail about the process and work in this production than I normally share here on the blog.

The odds of Mamet finding out about this blog, or our production are probably somewhere around a million-to-one. I realize that. But I don't exactly want to tempt fate by sharing something with my readers, innocently enough, with which Mamet or his people would find fault. For all I know, he may mandate a certain thing we do not have in our production, (the color of the pencils perhaps) and I'm not willing to be the reason our theatre gets a cease and desist.

I'm even a bit wary of sharing my thoughts on my character and how I am developing him, as Mamet in general seems to think the actor is the least important person in conveying the message of a play.

Truth be told, I am not that fond of Mamet's attitude in a number of areas. I've not read every play of his, though I have read portions of a few, and Glengarry, one of his earliest, seems to me also one of his best. And it too has flaws. But it's strong enough to be worth appearing in. Even those with whom we disagree strike oil once in a while, I suppose.

Despite all of this, I will still post regular, if somewhat more broad and conceptual updates on how this play is going. (There is not much to report on at this time, despite the several truncated rehearsals. So do look back regularly; I'm back for a while.

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