Last night, Thursday 18 April 2017 was the first night the cast of “The Maltese Duck) hit the Reedy Point Players stage in Delaware City, Delaware. I’ll talk more about the actual stage in a different post, but it has a proscenium arch and I love that word.
Kate and I (co-directors) watched as the Sherry Stricko, Brooks Black, and Nicole Pierce took to the boards. Since we are a few weeks from the June 17 “One Stage, Many Stories” event, the stage was empty. We got a bench and a few chairs from a back room and simulated the set.
Kate and I blocked the movement on a white board before coming to rehearsal, but we wanted to run it through without blocking to see what the actors did and see if an “organic” blocking was better.
Glad we did.
The actors surprised us with some imaginative things we had not considered; it was really quite beautiful.
Kate and I gave some initial notes and the blocking changed a tad and the actors used different emphasis on their parts. It all went better the second time around.
Being first time directors, Kate and I were a bit hesitatnt to give notes because we figured the actors knew more than we do. On the way home, we talked awhile and had an epiphany.
Part of our job is not only to create a production in line with our vision, but the actors are counting on us to make sure they have a safe place to apply their craft.
Part of making the safe place is to see things they can’t because they are right in the middle of what they are doing and don’t have an outside perspective.
Lucky for me, I chose great actors so my life is easy, but that idea of keeping the stage a safe place is pretty important stuff.