Assistant Director Rehearsal Blog
We’re in the final stretch in rehearsals for This Beautiful Future this week, and fast approaching tech. This wonderful team of creatives are drawing together unique components to create this heart-wrenching production written by Arthur Miller and directed by David Thacker.
Such a great experience and not wanting I to end I want to take a moment to pause and look back to share some fragments from the research and rehearsal process with you…
Before rehearsals began I spent a week researching. World history events, politics and Connecticut. I thought I knew this would be boring, but examining my understanding of these subjects was a fascinating experience. The Middletown State Mental Institute had a reputation for alternative therapeutic approaches and found success in it’s treatment programs that led to the institutions expansion and ultimate endorsement as the state’s official mental institution, ultimately leading to a name change. Doing research in this way is useful in allowing the actors to imagine more clearly the world of the play. It also helps us understand practical information. Some of the research may also illuminate parts of the text and also provide more interesting choices for the actors in their portrayals of the characters. Frick (Patrick) looked into how Karen’s Tap dancing could have affected his character. This research is then kept and displayed on the walls of the rehearsal room. The rehearsal room was subsequently full of a variety of maps, timelines, list of events, all of which help us pinpoint and flesh out the play’s world
A real highlight was listening to the inner thoughts and feelings of this of this fantastic bunch of characters. The group are a part of the Company four ensemble, an incredible group who are in Bolton to make work with David Thacker for the people and students of Bolton. Frick’s internal thoughts helped reveal a inner turmoil as he retraces the events of the past, trying to piece together where it all went wrong with his wife, Karen. Unable to figure it all out, he thoughts turn to more extreme views as he openly becomes resentful. I sat in awe as I watched two incredible actors Annie Tyson and Juliet Aubrey play in a free and uninhibited fashion. It was a tear filled event that was super inspiring, to be witness positivity and energy for the writers work and true commitment to process. It wasn’t all so tense though and we did find time to chat the northern rail strikes, weather and best place to get a pint.
Every afternoon in rehearsals Annie singes Cheek to Cheek. Every time I feel rehearsal room atmosphere change, I’m excited to see how this impacts on the audience.
Without any revealing too much, David created a delicate opening to this production story, combining Adrian Johnston’s melodic music and Ciaran Bagnall’s Set & Lighting Design. The first time we put it all together it was such a thrill. It makes me smile and my heart beat a little faster every time I see it.