What’s Up With Rachel – In Rehearsal for The Writers’ Room
By Rachel Bonds, Resident Playwright in The Writers’ Room
The first few days of rehearsal were a little insane, as I was going back and forth between Philly and Poughkeepsie, where I had rehearsals for a reading going on up at New York Stage & Film. It was nice to have the 3.5 hour train ride to shift my brain from one play to the other. I went back and forth three times in four days. Exhausting, but I was enjoying working on both plays so much, I was able to coast by on adrenaline and good cheer.
We’ve been working steadily for two weeks now and I’ve been impressed with how the play is coming together. It’s a delicate thing we’re trying to accomplish…The actors have to be as simple and honest as possible, which can be difficult to do when so much of the play takes place in a few lawn chairs and there may be the nagging feeling of “I’m not DOING enough.” Luckily, my actors are extremely talented; they are quite good at being simple and honest. I could watch them sit in lawn chairs for hours and hours and be entertained.
We keep reminding ourselves of the quiet way the play operates…what changes from beginning to end is essentially small. It’s about a small opening, a slight shift. So finding the tiny nuanced changes from scene to scene, making sure we let these little things build in the right way, has been our work over the past two weeks.
We’ve been making great strides in the rehearsal room, and now I’m looking forward to getting in the theater and beginning to play around in there. It will be wonderful to have the real Adirondack chairs for the actors to lounge in, and a real door to slam. I’m also excited to start exploring the transitions between scenes, to find out what those will look and sound like.
In other news, I’m loving where I’m living in Queen Village. It’s a beautiful 20 minute walk to The Arden and back, which is the perfect amount of time to be alone with my thoughts in the morning, pre-rehearsal, and to decompress post-rehearsal. I’m living on a narrow little street off of 2nd…it looks a lot like Italy to me, actually. I’ve been able to run along the water in the early mornings, which is pretty great when it’s not oppressively humid.
My fiance and my cat are also here with me now, so it’s feeling a little like home. I’ve been out to a few local places, but we’ve also been cooking quite a bit. I was really excited to find the very impressive Farmer’s Market on Sunday…I bought a bunch of amazing produce. We’ve also already made friends with our neighbors. I will feel sad to leave this place at the end of the month…
Rachel’s play At the Old Place will run July 18-28. Learn more about the play and The Writers’ Room on the Arden website and blog.