A week off in the middle of a rehearsal process is not easy for a director to cope with. We have been building momentum on the show over the past few weeks and now (suddenly) everything will halt for a week before we pick up and start again. Sunday was a run-through of Act II (transitions and all). Thankfully, the cast pulled together and performed a relatively smooth run. Seeing Act II on its feet was definitely a reassuring sight leading up to this week's Spring Break and time away from the show for everyone.
Seeing Act II in a single piece demonstrated that we are definitely heading in the right direction. While Act I moves along at a brisk clip supported by Kushner's wit and an air of mystery and playfulness, Act II is poignant and harsh as each of the characters responds to the burning of the Reichstag and Hitler's appointment to chancellorship of Germany. I am extremely eager to see it all put together. The actors are also ready to play their arcs from Act I to Act II. Because of the play's "interruptions" the actors are provided with the additional challenge of maintaining momentum and energy in their performances while periodically stepping "out of character" to address the audience or sit as spectators to the action.
We are also at the point in the process where other outside elements are coming into the production. I've been busily choosing music, finding appropriate historical images for the slide shows, and working with the designers to create a cohesive vision for Kushner's world. These details can help to enhance the audience's experience and response to the production. I have pinned down what I want the final moment of the piece to look and feel like . . . always a good sign.
Along the same lines, we have been working on promoting the show more aggressively in the past week. I have been fortunate enough to (once again) be working with Nathan Langner for Bright Room's poster design. We wanted to create a striking image that blended together the historical and human drama of the production. Nathan is great to collaborate with and I feel that he has put together something artistically compelling that supports the production's vision.
And so with a week to catch our collective breath we will meet again on Sunday for our first full run-through of the show!