Friday, November 03, 2006

Stagecraft: From Script to Stage - Volume VI

This will be a continuing series of blogs that will cover the development of the play I am working on. Inspired by the Production Diaries and Behind-the-Scenes videos on newer DVDs, I have decided to showcase some of the drama behind the dramas that are put up on stage.

Last evening was the final rehearsal before our last show this weekend. For the team of actors I had working with me, it was part of the end of a long journey that began in the early summer. For me personnally, it was the end of a journey that had begun much before that. For almost a year I had worked on just translating the script. It took time to come home after work and then make dinner and sit down in front of a laptop for another few hours while watching the video and translating and adapting the dialogues that way. I took it on as a challenge and then decided to see how far I could take it.

Within a short time I had finished translating it and then proceeded to get feedback on it. In short order, I decided to present it to Natya Bharati and seek their approval to commence with the project. I was thrilled when I got the call stating that I was given the go ahead to proceed with the project. I can still recall the excitement I felt at realizing that I was going to be directing a play. I had been thinking about the project for so long that there were ideas already ready to explode by the time we got started. At the time, back in February, it seemed like there was plenty of time before the fall. But time flies fast as it is wont to do under such circumstances. I knew the type of music I wanted, I had ideas for the types of sets, and lighting.

The hardest part is casting. After any show, there are always dozens who come up to the stage and profess to wanting to take part in the next drama. We welcome those people with open arms. Unfortunately what happens most often is that these folks don't realize the commitment that comes with being part of a team like this and they don't want to take part. I was lucky enough to have a team of actors who was ready to work with a first time director and who worked well together as a team. A sign of that was the fact that they were able to joke around and still get through the rehearsal without missing their lines.

As we finished up the last scene last night the realization hit me that this would be it and that there would be no more rehearsals for a while. After spending so many hours together with people you sometimes long for the end; in this case, I know I'm going to miss the weekly gatherings. It's a different kind of comradeship that comes and there are stories which will always remain funny to those of us who went through them. As we packed up the props and furniture in preparation for Saturday, I took a look at the basement at mom and dad's place and realized that it was back to being a home. It had served us well as a stage for our rehearsals and now it was time to return it to a home. There's still one last performance to be done. At the end of it, I'm sure the audience will be applauding the team on stage because in the end it is their hard work and dedication that makes or breaks a play. I think they have definitely made it.



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