Mountain Rehearsals - Week One

Rehearsals have officially begun for the world premiere of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. These early days are fascinating because what began as words and sheet music slowly starts to get its own skeleton as a performance piece. We are in a modest dance room in Oakland. We use some props that are just for rehearsal, and sometimes props that will make it to the actual production once they are painted and embellished. We try things, throwing ideas out and taking cues from each other. There is spike tape in a variety of colors outlining our imaginary set. We have looked at sketches and color swatches. We've listened to sound samples. There's a lot of waiting, discussion and thinking.

  Minli's dining table in the rehearsalroom. Inside the bowl are two coins, one of which starts our protagonist on her journey.

Minli's dining table in the rehearsalroom. Inside the bowl are two coins, one of which starts our protagonist on her journey.

Perhaps what fascinates me the most is that the final product will be built upon this skeleton, but only after much has been pruned and plucked away. To the audience's eyes, it will arrive as a complete package. But those of us in this dance room will know the sparser versions of the show that had to come before. The discarded drafts, the revised movements, the great ideas that ultimately had to be cut will still be with us. As well as the joy, the jokes, the shared memories that come from working together on this project. It's funny because from day one of rehearsals, the end is always in sight. But I already know that the end will come much too soon.

So I take to heart the lesson that Grace Lin teaches us through her novel. "Thankfulness."

I am thankful to be here in the midst of this creating, as it unfolds before me.

Posted on January 15, 2014 and filed under Composition, Creative, Musical Theater, Performing Arts.