In Rehearsals with Hannah

Thursday April, 5

I missed the past three hours of EITHER OR rehearsal. I feel left out. Scenes have been adjusted in my absence and I’m still trying to catch up.  But I had to be late since Ari, a programming committee member and I had a meeting with the Goethe Institute and the German Historical Institute. We are planning on continuing on the partnership that we had established with our production of HANNAH AND MARTIN. Goethe and GHI are great partners helping to expand the programming we provide with our Artistic Director’s Roundtable. But now I’m back and sitting in the theater watching the third day of rehearsal, making copies of German pronunciation CD’s and writing my first blog entry for the Theater J blog.

Thus far the blog has been completely Ari Roth led but now I join him in sharing the joy of providing our reading audience access to what’s happening behind the scenes. The blog readers have been able to join Ari as he country hopped and now they can join me as I sit in rehearsals for what will be the most powerful and certainly largest cast we have had on our stage yet this season.

For those of you who don’t know me I have the honor of having the longest tile at Theater J: Literary Director, Outreach and Education Associate.  On EITHER OR I am Dramaturge and Assistant Director – I really like to multi-task.  I’m very excited to be working with director Daniel DeRaey again after having the chance to work with him on Theater J show, PASSING THE LOVE OF WOMEN (by Motti Lerner whose play PANGS OF THE MESSIAH we will be closing the season with). I’m also thrilled to have the wonderful author Tom Keneally with us for the whole of the rehearsal process.

At the moment we are working on Scene 8, in which young and energetic Kurt Gerstein (Paul Morella) leads his Bible Circle fiends to disrupt a Tutonic anti-Christian play. Conversation turns from staging to new lines that are needed and Tom nods his head and takes a note. The first two weeks of this rehearsal process we are looking to do a great deal of revision on the script.  We have already worked through three drafts since our workshop of the play in early September. The changes we are doing at this point are small but important. We are deep into shaping the play. And we seem to be shifting in our dramaturgy meetings between frustration and elation.  The changes are great, the ideas are great but the time is so limited. Luckily Tom is game for the writing and the scenes are starting to come to life before us.

I should be redirecting my energy to the rehearsal but will write more soon.

-Hannah Hessel