The final two weeks of rehearsal are the time for the script to breathe, grow, and change.
After the time spent together with it around the table, shaping and moulding it into a strong scaffolding, came the time for us to start constructing the physical production. Adapting this piece during the rehearsal process necessitated intimate collaboration between the creative team from the beginning. In the final two weeks the rehearsal room began to feel more like a devising room. Rather than prescribing blocking and implementing it for the sake of structure, we worked to invent the world organically. We wrote the text to be a conduit for the performer’s authentic voice. We had worked to capture her sentiment in the script, rather than solely working to have her embrace a sentiment that was prewritten. When putting the show on its feet, then, we wanted her to be able to embody those sentiments authentically as well. The moments of tension between what is being said on the phone and what is being seen by the spectators, specifically, needed to communicate both the modernisation and the visceral elements of our adaptation. We asked the performer to pay close attention to how she uses her phone on a daily basis. What do we do when we are entrenched in conversation via telephone? How focused can our attentions be when the person to whom we are speaking is not in front of us?
The silences are also a huge aspect of this script, that became more and more apparent as we moved away form the text. Whilst many of these moments were worked in the rehearsal room they didn’t become to take their final shape until tech. The show is innately entwined in technology. When we finally got to be in the room with the entire creative team, therefore, those moments found the gravity they needed. The sound, set, and lighting designers have been a huge part of layering in the authenticity of this piece. I thought it was a fitting send off for this blog, therefore, to move away from my own dramaturgical perspective and include some thoughts on the process from them.
Hugo Aguirre – Design Assistant
“Working on this project has taught an incredible amount about the process of a professional theatre production as well as the role of the theatre designer. Sarah Beaton is a remarkable designer who works with precision and passion. I am extremely grateful for everything she has taught me and inspired by her ability to create outstanding designs.”
Sarah Beaton – Designer
“Tech is the best and worst time of the process. It is where the show is ultimately sewn together, but it often feels like it is being severed, sliced and glued before it is stitched back together and fully investigated/diagnosed. It is the creative theatre table and I love it.”
Jessica Hung Han Yun – Lighting Designer
“This is like nothing I have designed in the past. Getting the balance between the outside and the inside was so important and the integration of lighting within the set meet working closely with Sarah to get the right balance. This production has been a real pleasure to work on.”
In the end, this production is the result of a deeply collaborative process. The creative team have each had an influence on the sentiments expressed, the political interrogations around isolating this woman on stage, and shaping our original concept into something we hope resonates with our spectators.
Catch The Human Voice from 13 September – 6 October.