Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Butterfly: Road to One Act Festival

Since Butterfly was chose as the representative piece for the Newtowne Players for the Maryland State One Act Festival, we have been rehearsing and polishing for the last few months.

I've been researching along with the process.

I was worried about rehearsal tonight because I felt like there were a lot of unknowns. We changed David's costuming significantly. I was really nervous that the clothing would be more difficult to manage as far as quick changes, but it looks like things are pretty simplistic and I agree that the look for David is better. I'm a little nervous because we've change one costume from the second appearance of David to the first, and I have a lot of physical associations with the costumes for this piece that I'll really have to work through to get into character and physicality correctly in the new garb. I'm confident I can do it.

We also re-worked the slap. My reaction before was deemed too feminine, and so I polled a bunch of guy friends on facebook in note form to see how they would react if their mother slapped them. It was a really interesting study and I learned a lot. Tonight we worked that reaction but we only ran it once. I'm hoping to run it several more times before the performance so that my reaction can be more natural. I'm thinking entirely too much right now - I want it to be my gut reaction for the performance, not something I have to put on quickly. I'm not sure I want it to be completely natural, I'm still struggling with where David is in the transition process at this point and also with whether or not a transgendered man would instinctively react more as a man or woman. If you are trans, you generally feel that you were born into the wrong body, so I'd have to think that David's initial reaction would then be male... so I'm going to go with that. Trish was thinking along that line as well.

I'm so wrapped up in this process. I've never done so much research for a role and the piece is only 25 minutes. I feel very close to David. He's an important character for me and to me. The relationships in the piece really mean something.

This is also the first piece of which I've been a part where I feel the message is so important. Not that The Crucible isn't, but this is so poignant and so gripping and so unexpected - and the message is LOVE. Unconditional love - at least that's how I see it every time. David is hungry for this unconditional love and acceptance and he'd rather die than not have it in his life. Literally.

I think that we will do well at the festival - whether or not we go home with the winning piece.

We have two more rehearsals until all of our set and props will be left at the Roundhouse Theatre, then one more after that just to touch base and maybe run lines and discuss last minute details. After that, it's on with the show at Roundhouse.

We have a tech run in the space on the 9th, and that evening is the awards banquet for Newtowne. I'm wearing my little black dress. Something to contrast my appearing so often as a man :-)

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