Last night the cast gathered for one last read through at the table before getting to our feet. This rarely happens in a rehearsal process. There's simply never enough time. And yet these were hours wisely planned for by our director Bryan Close. After a week spent excavating Fry's rich language and complex imagery, we were able to hear the story of the play revealed more clearly than ever before, and to get a deeper sense of how our characters' journeys fit along the spine of this play.
It was exciting to watch each other breathe sense -- and real, human life -- into Fry's words. Several of us remarked that we were inspired by each other's work, which to my mind is the foundation for building a great ensemble. Like watching someone scale a cliff face by finding footholds where none were evident to you, it inspires you to reach beyond your perceived limitations. To see if you can't surprise yourself by finding your own unexpected hold.
I've never gone rock-climbing, but I imagine it's a good analogy for working in an ensemble. The trust you must have with your partners. The communication required to tackle a task in concert. The willingness to collaborate. The support you must lend as well as accept. And when all those things are working well, the enjoyment of the experience is unparalleled.
That's why I'm in theater -- to get a little piece of that high every time. And with only a week of rehearsals under our belt, I'm already getting that taste. Can't wait to discover what the next weeks will bring. Can't wait to find some of those unexpected holds.