Thoughts and Impressions from Solarity Rehearsal

Thoughts and Impressions from Solarity Rehearsal – WE ALL FALL DOWN – Friday, 11/5/10
-Lou Clark, Artistic Director

Paul Middleton and Joanna Furgal in "We All Fall Down"; photo by Stephanie Graner

Paul Middleton and Joanna Furgal in “We All Fall Down”; photo by Stephanie Graner

This past Sunday, I began rehearsal by announcing we would have several script changes – 12 days before the opening of the show.  Any other group of actors would have likely been very upset – perhaps even thrown a mutiny.  But not Solarity.  The members of this group knew that we had to change the words for practical reasons but we weren’t changing the meaning of the story, because even though I am the principal writer, the script is a collaborative effort informed by all of us.

Because I am the lead writer on this play and I speak and write in what is the accepted, dominant language in our society, sometimes when I write lines for Solarity, they need to be revised according to the needs and speech patterns of some members with disabilities.  This is an integral part of our rehearsal process which is very different from community actors working on a previously published play.

This year, not unlike the last, there were several lines that weren’t working for various actors and we needed to change them during the rehearsal process.  Because this is an ensemble play, changing certain lines also affects the other actors whose lines come before or after their line changes.  All eight actors, the Assistant Director and I spent 30 minutes going through the 60 page script on Sunday afternoon.  The actors participated in the line changing process and ultimately accepted the changes before we started rehearsing this week.

By Thursday night, none of the eight actors were having difficulty saying their lines.  By the time we left the theater yesterday we had a successful run-through in which all lines were memorized and delivered before heading into our final week of rehearsals on Monday.  By making these script changes together we honored the story as well as the artistic and inclusive elements of the group mission – to create professional quality theater featuring performers with and without disabilities.

Solarity Theatre Company
WE ALL FALL DOWN – Nov. 12-21, 2010 at VSA North Fourth Art Center
www.vsartsnm.org

Lou Clark is in Ka-HOOTZ with Dave Bommarito, Patricia Crespin, Clareann Despain, Amber Earls, Lisa Fenstermacher, Maggz Gallegos, Don Garcia, Becca Holmes, Bradd Howard, Kevin McGuire, Jason Montgomery, Casey Mraz, Kathleen Richardson & Wendy Scott
www.kahootztheater.com