I defy you not to smile while listening to this.
Really good rehearsal today.
After a completely infuriating day (my computer got a virus last night and i spent 3 1/2 hours trying and failing to get it fixed when i should have been working for my seminar tomorrow) I was tired, cranky and ready to be disappointed with my cast. This is the first rehearsal we've had where everyone has turned up and i had a whole rant about dedication to the play and the rehearsal process planned. I did give them a brief telling off, highlighting how great they COULD be if they turned up, on time and prepared to work, to rehearsals, and then we started the read through of the second half.
It was slow going at first because of edits that i had to make after people dropped out last week, but everyone was focused and seemed to get in to it. The second half ran at almost 2 hours, which is worrying me slightly. I'm not sure what the run time of the show is, but i know any audience starts to resent you after three hours. We'll have to see to that.
After we had finished the read through i gave them a break for 15 minutes, then brought everyone back in for a discussion. I like doing this, partly to gauge people's reactions towards the play and their characters, but also as a way of getting them thinking about the larger ideas of the production. We ended up talking for over an hour and a half, discussing each of the characters in turn, their motivations, their relationships and their effect on and within the play. Everyone was very engaged and came up with some very interesting points, some of which had never crossed my mind.
I came away from the rehearsal on a high, extremely satisfied with the comments that had been made, and with the mood of the cast as a whole. If they keep up the level of enthusiasm and insight that they showed today then the play might not be cursed after all!
On a totally unrelated not, I've been making fun of this website on my facebook today because i find it ridiculous.
The list of gay bands basically means that me, my parents, my friends and almost everyone else i know is gay, which i think will come as news to most of us. The logic behind the safe bands is even more questionable (how is Tom Waits considered "gayer" or more subversive than Amanda Palmer in her full Dresden Dolls glory?). While it is fun to mock such obvious bigoted stupidity, and I'm sure that many of the suggestions for bands were sent in by people who find the site as ludicrous as I do, it also terrifies me to think that there are people in the world who cling to such small minded, fearful, hate-mongering ideas and call it religious purity.
With the recent spate of teen suicides related to gay bullying, and the start of the It Gets Better project (which is amazing, check it out http://www.youtube.com/user/itgetsbetterproject), buzzing in my head as i was re-reading the play, these lines of Hale's really stuck out for me, and i thought I'd share them.
"Beware... cleave to no faith when faith brings blood. It is mistaken law that leads you to sacrifice. Life, woman, life is God's most precious gift: no principle, however glorious, may justify the taking of it."
I may not be a religious person, but i cannot understand how "judge not lest ye be judged" and "love thy neighbour as thyself" could possibly be mutated into something which causes such pain to confused teenagers that they would rather die than live to see how great life might get. It makes no sense to me.