Back To…

My husband is a teacher, so, for him, today marked “back to school”. He loves his job, but this morning he was as sad as any pupil about the end of summer and the loss of freedom term-time brings with it. It won’t take him long at all to settle back, though, and immerse himself in the opportunities of school life.

September means that I am fully back to work as well – and not just with the educational commitments I too still have, which begin later in the month. Summer is always a strange time for theatre work, unless involved in a full festival production or some other event. It’s hard to plan as so many emails are answered by “out of office” messages as people are on holiday or away at festivals; hard to fully keep up with admin. because it’s sunny and warm outside (at least that’s been a legitimate excuse this year!).

So, September marks the return to all that. And I’m ready for it. I’ve already had a useful meeting this morning with Talk With Leap ( a great Lancaster-based organisation, who help emerging artists of all kinds), which has given me some tips and advice about a late-autumn story-telling event/show I’m planning for some local pubs. I’ve also been emailing various colleagues about The Rose Company, which is hopefully performing Iphigenia in Cambridge – and maybe other places – in late-November. I’m meeting with an actor soon, to talk about that and other things, and there are other contacts I need to make regarding ELART productions I have in mind for the new year and beyond.

I’m feeling energised, which is helpful.

Back to… the future!

elaru xx

Advertisements

Absent Friends

I mentioned in my first post that I played Abigail when I was doing my A-levels, and that I fell in love with The Crucible at that time. What I didn’t really go into, was that it was that 1994 production of The Crucible in my home village which made me certain that my future lay with drama and theatre, in one form or another. Drama teaching followed, then a Masters degree in Theatre Directing, studying in London and Moscow, and now I am making my living freelance – putting on productions, drama coaching, running workshops, writing and some teaching. That show has a lot to answer for!

I vividly recall the rehearsals and how much I loved being part it – how alive it made me feel – how keen I was to perform to the best of my ability. At that stage, directing wasn’t fully in my mind; I was about to start a Theatre Studies degree, and  loved acting, despite being aware my ability in that field was more limited than I wanted. Watching Tony, the director of The Crucible, work with his cast, however, I began to really take an interest in the craft of directing, and I have never looked back! I learned so much from him – in other productions as well as The Crucible – and from my fellow actors, especially, perhaps, Chris, who played Proctor, Marion (Elizabeth), John (Danforth), Jean (Rebecca) and Tony (Hale). I still have on my bookcase a black and white photo of the cast, and some of the crew, taken immediately after our final performance. Looking at that photo is a bitter-sweet experience as several of those pictured are no longer with us, some taken well before their time, and several others I have completely lost touch with; though many of the others posing there thankfully remain my  friends.  I treasure the memories I have of them all – and will never forget that production and the impact it made on me.

The reason I post about this today is that I have been secretly worried that I would never fully get past my memories of that production eighteen years ago, but at today’s rehearsal I realised that it had happened. I was no longer hearing intonations and inflections from the past (as I had been doing in some earlier rehearsals); I was no longer trying to re-create pictures I’d seen before (as I think maybe I had been doing on one or two occasions). The reason? My current cast of actors are now really taking charge. They are visibly becoming their characters and are showing me how they should move and speak – when and why. It’s very exciting!

The fact that I feel I have finally moved on takes nothing away from my 1994 experience – nothing ever could – but it does mean I can now focus fully on the 2012 version of this tremendous play.

I am so lucky to be part of a second great team!

elaru xx