And So May Begins by Thomas Putnam
In less than three weeks we're offering a play that is an enigma. There are moments that are very funny. There are just as many moments that take you by surprise, that startle you, that confuse you, that cause you to say “whoa, time out.” I've seen some shows on tv described as “dramedy”, that combination of drama with comic moments or that comedy with serious moments. This is a tough one to describe.
But I start by simply saying that I really like this play. I saw it first a few years ago at the Geva Theatre in Rochester and I knew when it was over that I wanted to direct it. After reading it I was even more convinced. Now with this cast, I'm even more convinced. And after our first full run-through yesterday, I'm yet more convinced. I like the play; and I like the process.
This cast of five includes two people who have never been in an HG production; in fact they have not been in any production since they were in high school. Another has been in only one ten-minute play with HG, and again, nothing since high school. Two have been in HG shows.
So with this relatively new-ish cast, it has been a challenge to work through memorization techniques, the blocking process, on-stage psychology, ensemble work. It has been meaningful to begin crawling around in the characters' skins as we connect various facts about each that are dropped from time to time. Exploring possible backstories is always fun and energizing. Three of the characters are just over 30; one is early 20s, one 40s. Two are living with parents; two are living with mothers; one is a mother living with a 20s daughter.
I'm finding directing the play to be incredibly engaging. And, have I mentioned that it's a tough one to describe?