Thoughts from rehearsal

Becky here

I asked Alexander Strain, our Associate Artist-in-Residence,  to share a few thoughts with us about the rehearsal process of Honey Brown Eyes.  His thoughts are below — hopefully he will be updating us a few more times along the way but his first thoughts give us all something to ponder for quite a while.  

Here are Alexander’s thoughts:

‘Honey Brown Eyes’ rehearsals have been what an actor hopes for in any artistic process: a confluence of intelligence and creativity, a safe and experimental working environment, and an immense amount of challenge. As we approach the inevitability of sharing this powerful and emotionally arduous piece with an audience I’m reminded of my gratitude for being giving this opportunity but also the deep responsibility that is being placed upon us as an artistic team.

The war in Bosnia is a recent global and cultural catastrophe that many people remain ignorant of even though the internet and widespread mass media efforts were beginning their ascent into popular culture during the course of the war. It is not the job of this play, nor the intention of the playwright, to educate people on the conflict’s history, causes, and details, but the play does reveal a very human story within the context of this conflict. It is my hope that we can at least investigate and remind ourselves how saddening it is that the world somehow facilitated a war that ended the lives of over 100,000 people, displaced almost 2 million, and in retrospect necessitates the use of language such as genocide, concentration camps, and ethnic cleansing.
People are still reeling from this war. Individuals are still in prison, on trial, or quite unfortunately at large who precipitated some of the atrocities that were enacted in the name of nationalism and reciprocal anger. The play doesn’t name these people, or accuse anyone, or decry the world’s general apathy in regard to the war’s course, instead it focuses on the preciousness of the redemptive spirit in light of such tragedy. It is a hopeful play in spite of its brutality. I believe in its message, I aspire to achieve its encouragement of humility, and I look forward to sharing it with the Theater J audiences.”


One thought on “Thoughts from rehearsal

  1. Really happy to read Alexander’s thoughts about this. He goes to such a deep and probing place during the rehearsal process. I remember one time during PANGS OF THE MESSIAH rehearsals, on stage, when after a run-through of one particular scene, after the cast had stopped and was kind of just shooting the bull for about 30 seconds, Alexander more or less crumpled into a paroxysm of tears, on the ground, his head buried in his knee, and the cast huddled around him, and he laughed and cried saying “I’m fine, I’m fine” – and we had NO IDEA WHAT WAS GOING ON! He’d gone to a deep place, apparently. And his ensemble was there for him as support. But Alexander’s Nadav, an Israeli “slow learner” — a settler with a golden heart but certain severe disabilities — turned out to be such a painful and personally wrought creation, Alexander, evidently, touched something of the pathos in that character’s soul that rehearsal. And the depths that he plumbed stayed with that character, and that performance, throughout the run.

    How is Dragan, the youthful, vengeful Serbian with a wildly conflicted heart, related to the characters from PANGS?
    I wonder if Alexander could answer that.

    Here’s to an intense week as we enter tech tomorrow!!!


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