Every day the actors remember a few more lines, another piece of blocking, a character motivation - the production starts to take a clearer shape and form. Yesterday's rehearsal was about getting three actors in the right place at the right time. As a director, you want to guide the audience where to put their attention as they watch the play.... and hopefully by doing THAT, you are communicating what the playwright had in mind for the audience to focus on and from that - entertain and move the audience.... TA DA! Easier said, then done.
But to get there... actors have to learn their lines, know their blocking, and create characters that communicate and react with the other characters in the play. We are almost to the next step of the rehearsal process - taking this second level of the production - and moving to the third - freeing the actors.
When you start a play, it is a clean slate - actors look to a director as to where to start, where to move, where to end up. Once lines are known, and the blocking is in place, then the collaboration can begin between actor and director... The actor can take what I have given them... expand on it, try different blocking if it feels organic , find new bits of character business. It is so freeing to inhabit a character fully. We are heading in that direction, I just hope we don't run out of time.
But like actors, directors confront mental roadblocks too. I hit one of those yesterday. I realize there is one scene I just keep pushing down the calendar line.... I just can't get myself to work on it with the actors. I've re-read it a few times, I've re-thought it a few times, now I just need to dive in and re-see it in front of me. I think part of the problem is that the change that the character goes thru takes place off stage between scenes, and this scene is AFTER that change. The audience doesn't see him change. The character is reactionary - he is not a driving force. Other characters make choices and he reacts to those choices. Even in this scene, he's off stage decision is based on his wife's decision from the prior scene ... or is it? Maybe it is HIS decision. I gotta think about this again.... Anyway, I have to get to this scene before Friday. Certainly before I lose momentum.