It’s been an exciting few days: casting is now almost complete (and I have very solid leads for the remaining roles); a mis-reading of a piece of writing about the play has given me some very interesting ideas on the costuming and overall look of the show; and today the first rehearsal took place.
To take these in order, all my possible actors from the previous post have now confirmed, and I have been meeting with some really interesting people from around the local area, slowly but surely completing the rest of the cast; I now just have three roles left to fill (and I feel very optimistic that one of them will be taken by a great guy I met early today for a chat/read). One of the most pleasing things is that I have been pretty well able to cast to age: the girls are 16 to early 20s, Giles is in his upper 70s, and the remainder of the performers are a mixture of ages in between. As The Crucible is really about a communuity and all its members, I am delighted to have such an appropriate range of performers.
Next, the reading – or mis-reading – I mentioned, was of some notes about Arthur Miller’s own direction of an early production of The Crucible in (I think) New York. I came across something that said he had directed the play in black and white and I assumed this meant black and white costumes, which excited me as being great for representing the apparently “black and white” attitude of many of the characters regarding witchcraft etc. When I re-read the notes, however, I discovered Miller had used black costumes and a bright white light, so not quite as I had originally thought. However, I am still excited about the black and white costume idea – possibly with some appropriate characters in shades of grey, and maybe a little judicious use of red from time to time. We’ll see…
Finally, a word about today’s rehearsal. The beginning of a first reheasal always feels like diving, jumping – or belly-flopping in my case – into water; it’s scary, though exhilarating. As I chose to start by looking at Act 2, I “jumped in” today with Proctor, Elizabeth, Mary Warren and Hale. We worked gently through two thirds of the act, blocking, and making some nice discoveries about the characters, their relationships, and the venue and how it works.
The initial splash is over – and it was fun!