We have just finished our second week of rehearsal for reImagined, our original theater piece of fantastical tales from around the world.
So much has happened since Amanda and I started this project. (maybe I should begin there!) Amanda Stoffel and I (Ameneh Bordi) worked together two semesters ago on “I Am My Own Wife,” which turned out really well. This semester, we wanted to do something again, so Amanda proposed the idea of making a play out of German fairy tales.
After playing with the idea all summer, we finally decided that a play based on fairy tales from around the world would be more interesting and complex, and we dove in head first. We looked at tons of spaces, finally deciding on Riverside Church’s 9T, a magnificent room with marble columns, a fireplace, and chandeliers. We assembled a glorious cast, a great team, and got working.
In the past two weeks, things have really started to take shape, and after last night, I feel confident saying we are going to have an amazing show on our hands. We’ve basically picked the tales that are going to be in the show; they come from all over the world, so it will be a challenge to figure out how to mesh them together coherently. So far, what we want to do is have each of the characters represent a theme like “self discovery,” “rebellion,” “betrayal,” “sexual awakening,” “exploration,” and the like, and then follow these characters’ journeys to see how they interact with each other and grow over the course of the show. Not every one will be a hero – in fact we almost didn’t have any heroes in the plot – and some characters will turn into the villains in the story due to their bad choices earlier on.
Our actors have spent the last two weeks finding stories, sharing them with us and with each other, and presenting them in so many new and creative ways. We did one exercise where each of our 8 actors had to present the same story, and even though there was really only one main character, no one told it from the same point of view! It was amazing to watch. Yesterday, one of the presentations of a story did the whole thing with only 4 phrases, but the entire story was conveyed with no loss of detail. It’s amazing how fluid these stories are. In terms of production, we are well on our way as well. Our amazing producers, James Rathmell and Ajit Pillai, have been coming up with ideas I’ve never had.
We have a blog (reImagined2009.blogspot.com) where we will be posting stories, pictures, and rehearsal notes, and are almost done with our logo. We also have some fundraisers in the works (La Negrita this Friday!! October 2nd) and other revenue ideas. And we finally have the contract for the space, so everything is locked up. Basically, this project is flowing and I couldn’t be happier.
I can’t wait for you to see it when it’s done!
Columbia College ’10