The Rehearsal Room
A blog Laura and I really like is HowlRound. It’s from the American Voices New Play Institute at Arena Stage. At the beginning of this month, Polly K. Carl asks readers what would make their ideal creative space. Company members Heidi Jedlicka and Tanner Curl respond to this post, A Creative Room of One’s Own.
Polly K. Carl's question:
"consider for a moment what it might mean to widen your notion of the rehearsal room and to aspire to a more holistic model of building a solid foundation for better artistic health. What would a room where you can work, where you can participate with your best creative self look like?"
Heidi’s response: I think as artists we need to completely disregard the notion that the magic of theatre is solely created in the rehearsal space. That’s a lie at worst and naive at best. The reality of theatre is that we as artists need to pay for that space, that marketing and that stuff that we use for the production. Practically speaking; self marketing, networking and sales are the ‘dirty words’ we rarely use as creators but couldn’t survive with out. My rehearsal space would have good wifi for plenty for Facebook and Twitter. The work we do needs the excitement and engagement of other people to continue.Tweet Tweet.
Tanner’s response: For me, the rehearsal room doesn’t represent working with, for lack of a better term, an established theatre, it’s the act of making theatre itself. I look at my peers and think, “Man, all of these people are smarter, more creative, and just plain better at this than I am. I don’t belong in the same room as them, but hopefully someday I will be able to make theatre.” To work off of Polly Carl’s metaphor, I feel like I don’t even get to be in the waiting room. It’s still a struggle for me to remember that almost all artists and creators have these kinds of self-doubts. For me, finding my “room” is about putting aside my doubts and fears and realizing those fears are part of the process. In this effort, I’ve found some guidance in a quote from David Foster Wallace. I find it fitting for theatre-making and life in general: “[T]he horrific struggle to establish a human self results in a self whose humanity is inseparable from that horrific struggle. That our endless and impossible journey toward home is in fact our home.”
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