We start rehearsing The Tent on Monday, so my mind is full-up with it. I am full of the usual pre-rehearsal anxiety; is the script good enough? Do I know what I’m doing as a director? Can a writer/director do justice to the script and honour the actors? Have I done enough prep? Once we get stuck in to rehearsals those feelings will dissolve, morph and develop. New things will occupy that now space of nervous/neurotic anticipatory panic.
I have an amazing, mostly new cast to work with. Last year’s ‘showcase’ was an excellent try out, and the response helped mould and develop the play further. It was also easy to nag people to come and see the four performances last time. This time we have a full two week run; and I have to say, I’m in that omigodwhatwillpeoplethink space.
It’s hard to understand all my feelings. I am mostly graciously thankful to The New Writing Programme that Artscape runs, for their belief in and support of my work. I really have properly benefited from this amazing process that gives space, time, energy, advice, and most importantly, budgets to new South African playwrights.
One of my blessed moments is having found a designer who totally, completely gets my work. Alfred Rietmann helped me stage the showcase, and this time around he is designing set, costume and lights. I am absolutely in love with what he is doing. He also designed the gorgeous poster BTW.
I have mixed feelings about the content of my play. It’s mostly about how South Africans don’t and can’t manage strangers; whether they are foreigners, people who believe different things, people with different sexual orientations and even just outsiders. It’s pretty bleak and not ‘happy ending’ stuff. That’s quite hard to sell, even though I believe the message is so important. It’s not all doom and gloom though. I find it funny too. So, how do you merge those things? How do you find the balance? And who is the you I keep banging on about when I should be saying I? Hectic.
So, luckily I am running the second weekend of the TheatreSports training course this weekend. It is a big, time and energy consuming task. and for some hours my head will not be filled with the The Tent The Tent The Tent The Tent!