I am thoroughly and utterly wiped out. I forgot what a 10-5 day in a rehearsal room was like. And I forgot how exhausting talking and thinking for that long could be.
I also love that tea breaks are a thing in rehearsals in London. That would NEVER – I repeat – NEVER happen in NYC.
I really didn’t know what to expect going into the room but to be honest much of what we did today was akin to what table work would be. However, a lot of the conversation was free-flowing that melted into digressions and tangents with some guidelines set here and there, but I think we all needed to come to grips with what we are trying to wrestle as I figure out the potential of this piece.
I am trying very hard not to think about the music/sound/looping aspect and the movement I want created for the piece. Mostly because it will just get in the way of my writing. And mostly because that’s not my provenance to be sticking my nose into.
I thought I could stop myself from writing anything this week, but I failed. My brain was buzzing with all the ideas floated around the room today about freedom, choice, independence, and the decisions you make to have all of those in a world where you are given no options. Is it all indeed nature or nurture? When is it social conditioning and when is it brainwashing?
For me, the most remarkable realisation was listening to the rhetoric of women who are a part of al-Khansaa and those of the YPG and how they say almost the exact same things down to a one or two word difference. It makes you starkly aware of the shared language of desire these diametrically opposed women use when talking about freedom and protecting their land. It then fucks with your mind as you want to label one good and one bad based on your own personal morality codes but the truth is that you can’t do that.
If you accept that the desire for freedom is important then how do you discount someone’s desire for it if they participate in behaviour deemed ‘evil’. The greyness of morality rears its ugly head.
It’s a lot to try and parse out, but a lot of themes were repeated throughout the course of the day and I’ve started to get a clearer idea who these three sisters are and what their immediate origin is. It’s hard to remove the piece from the myth that originally sparked it, but thankfully the myth of the Gorgon sisters is so short and incomplete that I don’t have much to worry about. Although, I am happy (and these blessed moments of dramatic serendipity have occurred a lot in my career – thank you muses) that my original impulse about the myth and the three sisters does align neatly with what I am trying to do here.
So when I should have been in bed I was playing with a looping app, percussive breaths, and writing what I think is going to be the opening salvo of this piece. It’s anybody’s guess what is going to stick after this week and during the 3 weeks I take to write more material before our week of rehearsal for the sharing, and a part of me wants to control the situation and just get it done, but I’m trying to learn different ways of creating theatre.
Either way I will come out of this learning something new about what works for me and what is futile.