(posted by Director Traci Brant)
Wow, I haven't posted for soooo long. I'm normally a director who uses the CST blog to organize my thoughts and reflect on the work during the rehearsal process, but for Hamlet, I haven't had time to take a breath. I've watched my husband go through this process for the last 3 years of Shakespeare in the Park (twice as a director and once as an actor), so I thought I had an idea about what I was getting into. As it turns out, it's even more daunting and exhausting than I ever imagined. BUT, I have no regrets. So now, just hours from our first of 5 dress rehearsals, I'll give you some ramblings about where we're at.
We are moving forward with each rehearsal--one (often painful) step at a time. Last night we ran the entire show straight through for the first time and it was pretty solid. I am now confident that we will have a beautiful production with a lot of passion and heart.
Hamlet (Justin Treasure) has made huge strides in the last couple rehearsals. He's a very intelligent, contemplative actor. During the first 4 weeks or so of reherasal, he spent a lot of time wrestling with the character's motivations and analyzing the text for clues. At one point a couple of weeks ago, he actually hated the character for a while. (Thankfully, we've moved past that point!) He's now using his gut instincts and unmitigated command of the stage (a natural gift he has) to embody Hamlet. When you combine that with the analysis work he did leading up to this point, you get an actor who is now inhabiting Hamlet and not just playing a role. That's the corner we needed to turn. We're there and I couldn't be more proud of where he is at. He will now be able to grow over the next 5 rehearsals into what I can now promise will be a remarkable Hamlet.
That's all I have time for at the moment! But, it was at the forefront of my mind this morning to share my joy that we are now getting to what I call "the good stuff." I can't wait to share it with everyone at Central Park Plaza... but after a few more rehearsals. More later perhaps...