We're hitting the end of Week Two of rehearsals, and tonight is our first stumble-thru of Act One! It definitely feels like the creative team and cast have found our groove as a group, and the past few rehearsals have not just been productive but fun! I also find myself in the long-awaited position of simply being the playwright/composer in the room, instead of running double duty. For my previous two productions I also worked as Music Director, which made sense since I knew the shows so well. However, for Mountain, it has been very liberating to be able hand Music Director duties to someone else's capable hands and focus solely on finessing the script & score.
What exactly do I do in rehearsals then? I check to see how the script and score play out in the room. Sometimes the script no longer works, or a moment of song/dialogue is no longer necessary, because of what we discover with the actors, set, costumes, sound & props. So I give a quick assent to cut or modify. I also answer questions about my original intent, usually to help bring clarification to a scene. If a rewrite is needed, I might start working on that while rehearsal continues (I recently made minor tweaks to six Act One musical numbers, and I'll see how those changes work at tonight's stumble-thru). I will also initiate discussion if I feel like what I see or hear in the room is going in a different direction than the writing. But mostly, I observe and I listen, and watch the skeleton of the show grow tendons, muscle and sinew, as if by magic.