I know rehearsals are working because I actually remember some of it two days later. Mainly, the more basic acting points that are so easy to forget, like "don't lose momentum in the middle of a sentence" and "don't forget what's happening in this scene." I could slap myself in the forehead every time I have to be reminded. Luckily, these (and other) points have carried over since our last rehearsal.
It's Friday now, and our first two rehearsal were on Tuesday and Wednesday. The first rehearsal of any Dream Theatre show involves the cast creating the universe of the play so that we're all on the same page. We've collectively decided that our play takes place in a creepy old medieval puppet theatre in the center of a dingy, dirty, polka-laden, industrial city somewhere in Germany in the mid 1880's. High society has no tolerance for the whims of naughty children.
Our second rehearsal centered around Romping Polly, whose tragic tale involves carelessness on the same level as this romping gangsta:
Since it's early in the rehearsal process, there's still lots of figuring-out going on. In this scene, I play Conrad playing Romping Polly's older, more distinguished brother. Something occurred to me after I left the rehearsal that stuck with me: these children are putting on a show.
Herr Director has been telling us over and over (and I hope he continues to tell us) that this is not children's theatre. It's not grown-ups acting like children for the sake of relating to children in order to teach them lessons. Neither are we satirizing this particular pillar of society. Our world is very real, and the things that happen are quite real, but at the same time, they comprise several layers of theatrical performance. It's a little bit absurd, a little bit realism. There needs to be this balance of delightful humor and appalling horror – like having fun dancing in the street, only to get hit by a passing ice cream truck. I guess we'll have a clearer idea of what this means as we figure out even more along the way.
Tonight we rehearse in the Lyric Opera of Chicago building. I've never even been in there, let alone seen a show there, let alone rehearsed a show that had nothing to do with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. This should be fun...or scary.