Lesser Seductions Rehearsal Report, Part Two
Friday, October 16, 2009 Leave a Comment
Well, a lot has happened since our last rehearsal report. The biggest news is that we needed to replace our extradordinary Martha, DeWanda Wise. Though DeWanda had to drop the show, we all still adore her and look forward to working with her at every opportunity. Those of you who saw her in Volleygirls or at our annual retreat know what a force of light she is on stage and in life, and we miss her in rehearsal every day.
BUT! The good news is we found a wonderful actor to step into the role. Raushanah Simmons walked into our hastily assembled audition and immediately clicked, both with the role of Martha and Michael Davis, the Fluxer playing her brother in the show, George.
Raushanah stepped into a rehearsal process already under way, with actors who'd been living with the role for over a year, and with humor and focus, fit right in. We are so lucky to have found her on short notice - thank you to all of the wonderful actors who auditioned (crazy how many talented actors there are out there) and to everyone in the community who passed on our call.
Tonight we finish staging the play with 1969, which ends here with the walk on the moon. Watching this video tonight, we were all reminded of how strange and impossible this event was in our history. We talked about the character in the play who doesn't get to see it; about what it means to give your life to a cause you don't get to see completed.
Last night working on 1968, we were thinking about Martin's assassination and these words:
Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead.
But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I
don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its
place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And
He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen
the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight,
that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm
not worried about anything.
What a rare vision, to know that the impossible thing you're fighting for will come true; what a rarer thing to know - to be at peace with the fact - that you won't be there when it happens.
All day today (I don't know why) I was having that feeling I think all artists have (from time to time), that grey dread that our work doesn't really matter, that whatever we have to give isn't enough. Sometimes it feels like our world of theatre isn't even a mountain, but a slippery hill, barely tall enough to be worth the effort, and yet here we are, spending all our lives falling down.
But I think if our play can capture a little of the difficult hope of that moon and mountain, and pass that into the audience; then, that would be all right. And man, I love watching Lizzie and Bobby, and Marie and Barry, and Lee and Isaac, dancing; and Marth and George playing; and that's something to stand against Anisa and Tegan and everything that happens.
And tomorrow, our first stumble-through!