Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dancing Not Dead -- on its way to rehearsal!

Tomorrow starts the beginning of a very exciting process for the Internationalists, and I (Jake, in Berlin) am incredibly happy with the work that is coming together here. It has been a bit of a challenge, as summer in Berlin turns out to be a time when absolutely no one is truly around. Therefore, finding spaces to rehearse, people to come to the shows, even actors to show up for auditions -- all of it together has been a challenge to say the least. But now, we are less than a week away from the production, and all systems are go!

The cast has come together nicely. They are a talented group whom I got to audition about two weeks ago, and who have been living with the script ever since. They are:

Paula Koch: Ellen
Wil Röttgen: Victor/Alexanders/Georges

The cast has a great deal of experience both in Germany and abroad,
with directors I deeply admire. Their skill and intellect should offer a very unique look into this play. I am particularly interested in exploring what table work will be like with a German contingent of actors -- things are so literal and exact here, I wonder how they will approach a play that has some big questions attached to it, such as "Dancing, Not Dead". Tomorrow we will begin to see.

For casting, we had a very nice set of conversations and I listened to each of them read through a selected monologue several times. Because I was also looking for performers for the "Around the World" programming, I was more interested in personalities than anything else. This particular cast, however, I feel fits these roles absolutely perfectly.

Eva-Maria and I spoke via phone from Italy, but her energy and excitement for the role is really wonderful. And her stark German accent should lend a certain power to the role. Wil is a powerhouse actor, also with a German accent, but will be able to fit between the three roles well, and I think he has a certain sensitivity that should play nicely into these men. Finally, Paula is a classically trained actor, with nary an accent to be heard, and I think her take as a quiet and subtle daughter will be interesting to see develop. Her audition was understated, and I hope that during our rehearsals we'll be able to keep the intention she feels for this character underneath her words, but find more active ways for her to be present in the scenes.

I will be rehearsing for a bit longer than I would normally rehearse a reading, if only because I want to make sure the language is clear and concise for the audience, and especially the Internet audience, whom I think there will be a lot.

Tomorrow the rehearsals start at 15.00 Berlin time, and we'll see where things take us!

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