Postcard from Rehearsal: shaping the scenes between the scenes

Assistant to the Director Andrew Hawkins writes to the blogosphere againm two weeks into rehearsals for Gruesome Playground Injuries:

Gruesome Playground InjuriesA great deal of our energy this week has focused on staging the transitions. It’s been both challenging and exhilarating.  Director John Vreeke exclaimed one afternoon: “This is harder than scenework!”  To which actor Tim Getman responded, “Yeah, but it’s awesome! It’s helping everything start to feel a lot more real!”

Rachel Grossman, movement coach, and Chris Baine, sound designer, have been with us every day helping us shape these moments—each one requiring a specific composition. The music and the movement both set the tone and mood, but they also create an energy which not only facilitates the actor’s physical transformations but also crafts the play’s journey.   

While working the transition between scene one and two, in which Tim and his fellow cast member Gabriela Fernandez-Coffey transform from 8 year old kids to 23 year old adults, John and Rachel liked the idea of sneaking in a little choreography. “I want the play to keep moving in between these scenes,” said John.  Chris chose a song which everyone in the rehearsal room melted over.

Two scenes later, in the transition between scenes six and seven, the discussion returned to music choice.  We were deliberating between two strikingly different pieces.  Most of us loved one selection because it was haunting, beautiful and macabre, but we were afraid it was playing too much into the emotions of the scene. The lyrics, too, fit perfectly. But that was a huge problem in itself – they fit too perfectly (aka “on the nose”).  We ended up going with option two.

Interested in our musical options?  Drop us a note at discussion@woollymammoth.net!

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