news, updates, and conversations from Volcano Theatre

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Dear Diary: Infinity Rehearsal, Week 1

Every week, Infinity Assistant Director, Mariel Marshall writes us a diary entry of her experience in the rehearsal hall. If you haven't already, start at the beginning by scrolling down to Dear Diary: Preparing for Infinity Rehearsals. 

Here's what Mariel has to say about the first week in the rehearsal hall:

We are into our first week of rehearsals for Infinity and it’s been a fascinating start to the process. On the first day, we did a read through of the script for the entire team, which includes Volcano and Tarragon Theatre staff, interns, production crew, and creative team. It really does take a village. After the read-through, we jumped right into character and movement work with the actors.

By day two, director Ross Manson was already staging the piece: deciding where the actors are placed in scenes, how we integrate movement and music in transitions and how to coordinate a complex set of props. In many ways, this week has felt like putting together a really complex jigsaw puzzle; you need to match pieces together, one by one, and trust that with time and focus the completed image will take shape.

This week we have also been working with movement director, Kate Alton. Kate has been working with the actors on a frenetic and complex movement piece that takes place near the end of the first act. The sequence was originally developed in an earlier workshop and now Kate is building upon the foundation with more intricacy and specificity.

It’s also incredible to have music composer Njo Kong Kie and violinist AndrĂ©a Tyniec in the room with us. Having them collaborate on the process from such an early stage has been incredible because it allows the music to be woven into the script seamlessly.

The playwright, Hannah Moscovitch, continues to make script changes on a daily basis, and it’s both exciting and challenging to see how these new developments affect the piece. We’ve also been in touch with Lee Smolin, who continues to guide us in all of our questions regarding theoretical physics (the main character Elliot plays a theoretical physicist). As you can imagine, the technicalities of the science are incredibly difficult, so Smolin’s input has been crucial in getting the facts right. He’s even helped us to make character choices such as “what kind of laptop would Elliot have used in the mid 1990’s?” It is this kind of specificity and articulation that can really deepen the work.

We finished staging the entire first act this week, which is a huge jump in the right direction. Next week, we’ll start on ACT II. The jigsaw puzzle is starting to take shape!

Mariel Marshall

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