Building a Mountain

Two weeks ago, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon: A Musical Adaptation went into its second workshop, culminating in a staged reading. We only had four days of rehearsals (a total of about 16 hours) to teach the music, blocking and choreography, and get it ready for an audience. Thankfully, we had an amazing group of actors and musicians who brought the right mix of fastidiousness and flexibility, and were able to deliver a stellar performance.

Actors Isabel To, Patricia Pitpitan, Pauli Amornkul & Will Dao during a workshop rehearsal.

Actors Isabel To, Patricia Pitpitan, Pauli Amornkul & Will Dao during a workshop rehearsal.

Although audience feedback is invaluable after these readings, I have to confess, the feedback that excites me the most is from the actors themselves. And not necessarily their verbal feedback. When I watch actors perform my work, I often see new or different sides of the characters, which then inform my writing moving forward.  There is an indescribable poignancy to see your characters in front of you, real-time, moving around in three-dimensional space. And I'm honored that the Mountain actors gave so much life and brought so much truth to the show, even when playing monkeys, goldfish or lion statues.

While I will be spending the next few weeks by myself, often in front of a keyboard (both the musical kind and the computer kind), I very much look forward to the first day of rehearsals in January, when cast & creative team can continue building this Mountain together.

Posted on December 4, 2013 .