We had three talkbacks last weekend. Here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions and some possible answers.
Since the script doesn’t have any character names in it, how did you determine who said what?
That was a lengthy process that started when Matt (the director) decided how many and which actresses would be in each scene. Then, in the first rehearsal of each scene, we read the scene through a couple of times, with people just jumping in and reading whatever lines they liked. Then we talked about what the scene might mean, who the characters might be, what the given circumstances might be. Eventually, we found a few things to hold onto, and starting picking lines. Sometimes it was clear that certain lines all belonged to one character, usually not. Sometimes Matt just asked, “Who has a favorite line?” It was so up in the air, we just had to find a way to start, so almost any logic would do.
How much of the video imagery is indicated in the script?
None of it. Matt & Brant spent many weeks talking about what could be in the video, and the ideas developed right alongside the rest of the show.
Who is the woman all the characters are talking about?
Good question. We have some ideas, and if you see the show a couple of times, you might think she’s famous, or a terrorist, or an artists. Someone suggested that Anne is symbolic of life itself. Politically, we think it’s possible that she’s both a criminal and a victim. It’s hard to hold more than one idea in our heads at once, but sometimes this play asks you to do so.
Were the songs provided for you in the script?
The lines for those scenes look like lyrics, or poetry. It was Karl (choreographer) Rogers’ idea to turn them into music, and to feature Meghan (Durham Wall, a dancer). He also recruited Michael Wall (composer) to right the songs.
Is the scene with a table an homage to “The Green Table”?
The connection is there, though it’s not an homage. Karl did think about it as the scene developed. But it really came out of a collaboration with the actors in the moment.
Are there any given physical circumstances in the script?
None. You might look at this.
How many different foreign languages are spoken in the show?
8. Plus the language of dance. (Smiley face.)
What made you go with an all female cast?
Honestly, it’s hard to say. The idea occurred to Matt one day, and obviously it had something to do with the fact that it’s a woman at the center of the play, and the possibility that any of these women could be Anne at different points in the play. And the thought of a diverse group of powerful actresses was really appealing. (At one point, we thought there might be 12 people in the play.) Sometimes, though, we make artistic decisions just because our instincts tells us what’d be cool.