Thoughts from rehearsals of Bad Dates
This was a whirlwind experience unlike any I have had before. Included in my directing experience are large musicals, small dramas, realism… surrealism… Shakespeare but I had yet to direct a one person show. When Mary Beth called and offered it, I jumped at the chance. Why not? Here I was in a different town, a different climate; why not tack on another new experience? I also was looking for more professional theatre opportunities and was thrilled at the chance to work with Charleston Stage.
My plan of attack was simple: block the show (for those who don’t know what block means; to choreograph the movement on the stage) then flesh out the moments… seems easy enough right?
As Beth and I began our adventure we both were floored by the difference in the rehearsal process. They were a little more informal than we were used to. When you work on a bigger show, much of the rehearsal time is devoted to blocking; making sure that that no one is running into each other, and that it supports the story. With Bad Dates we set the blocking in 3 days and spent the rest of the time finessing character. Beth got to play with Haley. Any time she was unsure about character it showed through in the blocking. We were able just to stop and really work that moment until it came alive.
Due to the intimate rehearsal setting I think it was safe to say that I became invested in the piece like I never had before. At the designer run, though I was excited to show our work, nervousness crept in much like it would have if I were acting. I know Beth was feeling it, too. After the showing we both laughed at ourselves.
Working with Beth was a dream and I hope to do it again soon. She is creative, smart and willing to try anything. She truly found Haley and really brought her alive. I know that she was worried in the beginning about “animating” Haley rather than “being” but if you see the show I think that you would agree with me, that she is simply Haley.
Working with the staff was also a great experience. It is evident that they work well together. At times they all were able to speak about five things at once; following each others thought process, while I was just trying to keep up. Working together for the time that they have worked together really allows that. I am glad that I was a part of it for a while. I hope that you get as much pleasure out of watching it as I got from the process. Enjoy!!
Megan Link, Director