What do a dialogue between the moon and the sun, a man talking to a gun in a frozen russian post station, a live volcano, references to vodka and drunk peasants stuck in an inn over night have in common? -- They are all bundled together in the works known as The Comedies of Chekhov. And it is my good fortune to be directing two out of the five of them for Theatre Unleashed's next main stage show.
I have to admit a bit of panic at first. I read the scripts and then I re-read the scripts and then I think I read them once more and then I thought to myself what in the world am I going to do with them. I went into my first rehearsals completely unprepared, I had nothing, no inspiration, no ideas, just sheer panic. And then a magical thing started to happen, I let my actors give voice to their characters, the words that I had been reading on the pages suddenly came to life and I could see it unfolding before me. As they read blocking ideas, comedic timing plays all begin to emerge, in my head the panic gave way to excitement.
This is why I love actors, they can take something that on a page may seem a bit dry, a bit dull and they have an innate ability to bring it to life even during a reading of the play.
While Chekhov goes into rehearsals Torrid Affaire continues its run for another three weeks. Audiences have been good and people seem to be enjoying themselves. I still get nervous when people I know come to see it. Each time I want to remind them I'm new at this, this was my first attempt, please don't judge me to harshly. And yet each time they come out with compliments, I owe that mostly to the writing of the piece and to the actors on the stage. Those two components made it very easy to direct it!
I am truly fortunate to be a new directing with one play up and another in rehearsal. This is a journey I never dreamed I'd be on and yet here I am. Amazing :)