Ahh, tech: the time in every actor’s life where everything else seems to stop. Dishes go undone, dirty laundry overflows in my hamper, and even this article gets written several days behind schedule.
That said, tech is also the very exciting time when the full picture of a production begins to come into view. While there are always some surprises and hiccups when transitioning into the theater (in our case a lot of hiccups, as our fantastic stage manager is quite prone to hiccupping) this particular tech has been fast and graceful. In our very first 10-hour day, we were able to do a full run of the show – a relatively unheard of bit of luck that has allowed all of the actors to continue to deepen their performances.
One of the things that remains most exciting about this production is that we have been directed in such a way that moments continue to live, breath and manifest themselves uniquely each time they are played. It is a thrilling privilege as a performer to know you have the freedom to continue to really try to effect and respond to your scene partners, rather than needing to play a moment in an absolute or exact way.
Playwright Andrew Hinderaker continues to astound. Since skyping in to one of our initial reads, he has been relatively hands off during our process (in part because he has a new play opening at Chicago Dramatists right now as well), responding to our various small questions and emails. However, recently he sent us a rewrite of the first scene of the play. I was concerned about receiving a rewrite so late into the game as I can be quite a slow memorizer. But the rewrite came in and was only a few sentences long. How fitting, for a writer whose language is so economical, that his rewrite would also be so brief. The incredible thing was not just the brevity of his rewrite, but how effective it has proven to be. With just a few short lines, Hinderaker has managed to deepen and slightly redefine one of the primary relationships in the play. Feeling the rest of the play shift and click into a new position ever so slightly because of these new lines reaffirms for me what a major new player I believe Andrew Hinderaker will be in American theater.
As a producer, trying to run a small theater company, you literally pour your blood sweat and tears into every production. It’s a crazy business, and when you sacrifice so much of yourself to each production, you hope that what you are making is going to be the best work your company has created to date. I have high hopes and reason to believe Suicide, Incorporated can and will be just that. I hope that people who are not yet familiar with No Rules Theatre Company will use this show as an opportunity to get to know us. You won’t be disappointed!
Less than a week until opening!
Brian Sutow’s Week One on Suicide, Incorprated.
Brian Sutow’s Week Two on Suicide, Incorporated.
Joshua Morgan’s Week Three on Suicide, Incorporated.