Assistant Directing Something Intangible

April 3, 2009

Matt Ocks is the Manager of Institutional Giving at the Arden. Currently, he is doubling as the Assistant Director of Something Intangible.

Dear Arden Insiders, >help

When I was in high school, I never got invited to parties with the “in-crowd”, but Something Intangible rehearsals have been nothing if not that. We have the cream of the Arden crop breathing life into this brand new play, and it has been my pleasure and great privilege as Assistant Director to serve as Fly on the Wall (with the occasional stint as Leader of the Line-Through, and slightly more frequent stints as Fetcher of the Coffee.).

I asked to work on this play because, as a young writer, I was eager to see how a playwright with more experience handles the rehearsal process. The mint on my pillow has been the chance to watch so many other brilliant artists – not just Bruce Graham, he of the shiny head and sharp wit – – but the director, actors, and designers, working at the top of their game. On those rare occasions when I get up the nerve, I actually get to engage with them as a colleague and fellow storyteller. It’s spine-tingling.

We’ve been lucky to have a phenomenal dramaturg join us from time to time in rehearsals, and for a discussion that often continues over late night e-mails among the rehearsal staff. Michele Volansky has helped us all hone in on exactly what story we are telling, and she gives the playwright a good kick in the pants when he needs it (and sometimes when he doesn’t, according to him).

And then there are the designers. We’ve got Jorge Cousineau doing sound. Even if you don’t know Jorge personally, you’ve seen his name in countless Arden programs, and I can vouch for his status as a master craftsman (or handwerksmeister, as they say in his native land). We’ve also got Jim Kronzer designing our set. The first year I worked at the Arden – a shy, sheepish apprentice – Kronzer decided it should rain in the Haas during Caroline, or Change, and our genius/miracle worker technical director Glenn Perlman made it happen.

We have just entered technical rehearsals for Something Intangible, where the designers and technicians come to the forefront of the creative process. I cannot wait to see what Cousineau, Kronzer, Perlman, and the other designers and technicians have cooked up for Graham’s play. To quote Something Intangible (sorry, I live and breathe it 6 days a week now), it is sure to be a “veritable feast for the senses.”

Check back on Monday for a new post from Matt about the cast.

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