Director Brenna Geffers talks to us about getting "involved" with a play and how the relationship develops going into the first rehearsal.
The first day of rehearsal…. What a …unique?... day.
I have a hard time sleeping the night before. The anticipation, the expectation, the hope, the anxiety have been building for almost a year. So much has already happened with the script. Long talks with the set designer. Research. The whole auditions process- which is its own harrowing journey. The scheduling. And the many, many, many times I have read the script. And now- it is time to put it all into action.
I don’t mean to sound like a sleazy guy at a tacky bar, but this script is really special to me. I know I say that all the time, but that doesn’t make it less true. After months of wooing the script, Knives and Hens and I are now in a committed relationship. As of Monday. I ought to update my relationship status on facebook. My parents are not going to approve of this one.
Just like any new relationship, my mind is full of it. Fantasizing about the little moments that are oh-so-delightful. “This script is soooo complex and mysterious. Just look at that turn of phrase…” And like any new relationship, the self doubt is also there. “This script is so out of my league” and “he is just not opening up to me. I wish he would just tell me what he is thinking…” All so very typical.
It all adds into the anxiety and excitement. Maybe that is what love is? Am I in love with Knives and Hens….?
Sunday night, the night before the first read, I was at home feeling very jumpy. Couldn’t make myself settle down. So I took my script out on a little date. Just a quick drink together, a little alone time. I went to a very busy bar- one that would have a lot of noise. I bought myself a glass of wine. And I forced myself to read through it again in the chaos of a South Philly hipster bar. It’s hard work to actually read words you practically know by heart already. It is easy to just skim though. But struggling through the din makes the mind work harder, helping the words feel new. I looked deep into the script’s eyes and saw new things. We fell a little deeper in love. The guy next to me -real guy not script-guy- asked me what I was doing. He didn’t know I was on a date and wasn't available to be picked up. I told him a little about the play. Tried to make him understand as quickly and politely as possible so I could go back to being all starry-eyed with my play.
I told him it was a story about learning that you didn’t have to stay anywhere forever. You can always leave. Always change.
And I was surprised. I had never summed it up in so few words. Maybe that was the night Knives and I really got into the relationship. Over that glass of wine, we felt like we really "got" each other. That this was going to work out. It was a good night. I took my script home. We said goodnight. We sleep in different rooms.
The next day, we went into the first read through with the actors - together. Ready to make this work.
Over the next few weeks, a lot of amazing people are going to work together to make this world for you all to enter. I know that the actors, the designers, and all the artists on this show have their own secret relationship with Knives and Hens. And I don’t mind the script seeing other people. After all, eventually the script is going to come to you, all starry-eyed and tongue-tied. It will woo you, look deep into your eyes.
I hope you will fall in love as deeply as I did – or am right now. And I hope you tell me about it. We can stand in a corner and laugh about the things we both loved and the ways the script treated us differently. After all, love is a fleeting thing, I guess.
And there are more scripts in the sea, or so they say.