news, updates, and conversations from Volcano Theatre

Monday, 23 February 2015

Dear Diary: Preparing for Infinity Rehearsals

Rehearsals for Infinity, a co-production between Volcano Theatre and Tarragon Theatre have just begun.  Our Assistant Director, Mariel Marshall, has offered to keep us in the loop with a few diary entries throughout the process. 

Here is Mariel's first entry in preparation for rehearsals this week:

We are less than a week away from the first day of rehearsals for Infinity at the Tarragon Theatre. I just finished another read through of the script and was thinking back to the workshop reading last month, which marked the beginning of my work with the project – a creative launch you might say.

The staged reading of Infinity at the Koffler Centre of the Arts happened on December 11th, after two days of workshop. It stands out in my mind as an incredible “next chapter” for this piece, which has seen a series of development stages over the last four years. Ross Manson has assembled a spectacular creative team for the project and we jumped into the work with relish. Throughout the three-day workshop, playwright Hannah Moscovitch did re-writes, shaping and sculpting the script with incredible precision; we worked with composer Njo Kong Kie on the integration of music, and also collaborated with movement choreographer Kate Alton.

Another exciting aspect of the project is our close collaboration with internationally renowned physicist, Lee Smolin. Not only has Lee been integral to the development of the script (he even wrote an 8 page biography detailing the lead character’s scientific life), but he has also been an incredible creative supporter throughout the process. I look forward to seeing him lecture at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, where some of the greatest minds of our time debate issues outside the realm of normal human comprehension (aka. cutting-edge research in foundational theoretical physics).

The workshop reading was the first time we got to see how an audience reacted to the piece, and I feel like it was an overwhelmingly positive response. When you work closely with a piece over a time, it’s hard to step outside and see it with any objectivity. That’s why it’s so important to bring in fresh eyes, to try out the piece and see what works and what does not. People loved the live violin music and the incredible depth of the script and its characters. At its essence, it’s a piece about love, and how love and time collide. It asks us to question our own lives, and our understanding of time itself. And in consequence, how we know and understand love.

I can’t wait to dive into our first official rehearsals next week. Now, I’ve got to get back to reading Lee Smolin’s novel Time Reborn which gets to the heart of it by asking the question: “what is time?” Physics – here I come!

Next time, we’ll talk love and parabolas. Don’t worry, I’ll explain later…

Tune in next week to see how the first week of rehearsal went. And of course, to talk love and parabolas!