TECH REHEARSALS: a photographic journey

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Tiara drawing some doors. We were at the theatre from 10 am to 10 pm, and spent most that time drinking and making art and hanging lights.

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!!!

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Gaelle hangs lights and looks awesome and is an expert.

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Emma hangs lights too. (It was fine.)

Come see our awesome show! http://www.tenderatwow.eventbrite.org for tickets and info. This weekend, Thurs/Fri/Sat, 8 PM, at WOW Cafe Theatre in downtown Manhattan.

 

Dance Class by Amanda Hameline

There is something incredibly satisfying about seeing a group of mismatched
people all dance in unison. A slow, smooth wave of movement is followed by swiftly
changing feet; a mass of heads looks left and then whips around in a turn (sticky
heads is a term I once heard a teacher use). A stray arm may veer off for a moment,
but the sheer force of united momentum is, in and of itself, strangely exciting.

I think there is no better place to view this than in a slightly disorganized, open
dance class. Of course unison viewed on the stage is also satisfying – the end of
“Revelations” is a great example – but it is a different feeling. The costumes, lights,
and clear imprint on the dancers of hours upon hours of rehearsal make it too
perfect. A short combination at the end of a crowded, sweaty class contains a
different breed of urgency. When else in life do you see a group of people so focused
on learning something just for the sake of learning? Or focus so intently on a short
phrase they will never return to again, and one that will most likely have no direct
impact on their lives? Hard work and intensity don’t normally come along with
transience.

And all this cooperation is borne out of a kind of selfishness. You take a class for
yourself. You don’t take a class to make your other classmates look good. But you do
all come together out of a sheer desire to learn, and improve. And during those last
fifteen minutes it all turns into something, and everyone miraculously morphs into a
single, moving beast.

First Rehearsal: Game of Getting Close

Hi it’s Emma! I have the good luck of being asked, last August, to do some writing for this dance workshop; and now I’m doing a lot of writing for this show. We had our first rehearsal with Lynne, Kelsey, Julia, and me, and it was the first rehearsal I’ve ever been to where I felt a certain filter removed that I hadn’t previously been aware of. Lynne, who acted in the August workshop and is acting again in the show, told me at the end of the rehearsal “you can trust us.” I’ve always felt afraid of people reading what I write out loud. I don’t want people to read it because I’m afraid of what it will turn into when it’s spoken, like a big scary monster is going to jump off the page and start smashing things. I never thought it would be a good idea to try to figure out why I felt this way, or to try to engage this monster in conversation.

Lynne, Julia, and Kelsey are good friends, wildly talented people who took the rambling text and made it into something interesting, who put up with my fumbling through pages, and, most importantly, who facilitated this rehearsal, deriving from the text a very necessary conversation about the issues in the show. They said things like “I know it’s weird between these two people, but I don’t think I totally know why” and “they are playing a game of getting close that they are really good at”…

… and, on the topic of BDSM in queer relationships, which is in the foreground of the play and which the characters tend to skirt around discussing: “there are two things in this show that audiences might confuse as being identical. those two things are bdsm and an actually nonconsensual relationship. how do we make it absolutely clear that bdsm/kink is not abuse? how do we show the difference? how do we show a relationship in which nonconsent masquerades as bdsm, and, in the same breath, show another relationship that involves bdsm play in which there is clear communication, and clear consent? how do we give these characters well-rounded, evolving identities that draw power from making traumatic experiences part of their identities?”

I realized these conversations are how this play is going to write itself. I felt artistically unfolded. I owe my friends for this.