Writing the Redroom

The beauty of and the pain of working with new material and having the playwright in the room is this–the piece is up on stage, we’re reading it and blocking it and suddenly the actors say “This isn’t working.”  And they mean “the script” because something can be done about it.

That’s what happened a week ago.  Two hours into a three hour rehearsal, as we  tried to block a skit about a baby shower gone wrong, we stopped halfway through.  There were a lot of funny jokes in it, and we loved the idea, but it was a long skit with a lot of sitting.  The blocking session turned into a talk about what worked and what didn’t, and then I had the less than appealing task of calling up one of the writers to let him know I was going to be completely rewriting his skits.  Take comfort, I said, I’m retooling the entire show.  While it seemed like a lot of time working on something I had thought was finished, I am forever grateful to be part of a company that keeps me on my toes, writing-wise.   It’s a little like a writing workshop, only the people around the table are a lot more invested in your work because it will eventually become their work as well.

This week, with a mostly new script, things went better.  Two hours into the three hour rehearsal things were in good shape and we did a run-through–something that not every Redroom gets a chance to have.  For Redroom, we generally have two rehearsals and a speed through before the show and that’s it.     Because we’re a little out of shape, we’re having two long rehearsals, a short rehearsal and a dress rehearsal before we open.  It leaves us little time, but it’s a highly concentrated creative burst that allows more people to be involved in the process because the comitment is so low.

I even broke out the video camera and made a trailer for Mommy Redroom.  As soon as YouTube officially posts it there, I will post it here.

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