Tomorrow night will set my junior year in motion (for better or worse)…with departmental auditions!
There will be three different shows happening – God’s Ear, Love’s Labours Lost, and my pet directing project, Hernani: A One-Act in Five Acts.
The theatre major here is pretty broad – you can go any way with it. There are plenty of actors, to be sure, but you could just as easily do lighting, sound, stage management, costumes, scene design, playwriting or directing. I’m stuck in that last category. I spent the last year in David Feldshuh’s directing classes, and it was without a doubt the most difficult and rewarding coursework I will do at Cornell.
The class is like a directing dojo, where you sit and listen to the master for 3 classes a week and then try your hand for countless hours, hoping to make something that “works”. I like to say that I barely made it out alive – and while that might sound too dramatic, finishing that class and still feeling ready to pursue directing is something to write home about.
So with my basic training behind me, I’m working on my first BIG PRODUCTION. I’ve got a budget of $200, I’ve got a design team (go team!), and I’ve got four weeks of rehearsal to create a modern re-imagining of Victor Hugo’s controversial melodrama.
Now I need actors. Very brave actors.
This is such a tough project – I’ve got to coordinate people, communicate my ideas to them, and get something beautiful (or ugly, or crass, or somehow perfect) out of them. But in my little experience, what makes it worth all the time and energy is getting into rehearsals and discovering things. What my actors do will always be more interesting than what I can dream up. I admire them, and I don’t even know who they are yet.
I’ll let you know how the first few rehearsals go. Leadership skills, activate!