Having been immersed in theatre all my adult life (mostly by osmosis, being married to a drama teacher) it has been interesting, for the first time, to step in to help with some directing. This week, I was given the job of running a rehearsal of The Tree.
Since it is the shortest play of the six (only two pages long), I expected to be able to run through it at least seven or eight times in an hour. But could I get the learners to concentrate? … unfortunately not. We just about managed four times and it was definitely improving, but could have been so much better. How do you get through to people (young or old) that the more you put in to something, the more you get out?
One of the challenges is to help them engage with an audience on 3 sides of the stage. I have enjoyed working with some of the main characters in various of the plays to break short speeches down, directing lines to different sections of the audience in turn. This is something I try to do when speaking at conferences (an audience quickly tires of watching someone who fails to connect with them). I can only hope that the message got through, but, like I said: herding cats.