Here we found ourselves. Two weeks before opening night. About to plunge into an intense string of daily tech and dress rehearsals – full runs almost every night. If you had been following our blog at all, you could tell that excitement was mounting.
Our cast sits in the house, animated murmurs slowly calming to a lull. Hallie stands center stage, commanding our attention. And, after reviewing a few housekeeping items, she gives one of her effectively rare semi-stern moments of honest direction.
“When you are in a scene, you are engaging in a relationship. Not the relationships in the plot – a relationship with your fellow actors on stage.”
Her words struck a chord in me. I fought the sudden urge to slow clap, and instead let Hallie’s message reverberate for a moment.
I once told two of my best friends, after a few drinks while poorly trying to explain my framework for life, that I’m relational. And, knowing full well that the word “relational” may never be published by Webster’s dictionary, gosh dangit, I’m sticking to it. I am relational.
Being relational means many things, but one of my most favorite is the incessant need for a sense of connectedness. With people, places, emotions – relations. It’s about a genuine fascination with the actions, feelings and motives moving around you.
I think a lot of people who are passionate about theater are purely relational. (Particularly the improv-folk, who get high off of effective teamwork.)
I feel like I can speak for our whole cast when I say that we are, with rare exception, fantastically relational. And it shows in the way our personal off-stage relationships translate to energetic, supportive chemistry on stage.
In our run so far, there’s only one thing I love more than the relationships we’ve built – watching our audience react to them.
My favorite spot to stand backstage is behind the double doors that lead upstairs in the Longbourn home. Peeking through the small sliver of space between those doors, I see faces; completely engaged, usually laughing, entirely wrapped up in the electric chemistry we’re creating on stage around the beautiful story we’re telling.
I’m impressed by how we make three hours move so fast.
All of my love,
Kitty Bennet (aka, Rachel Olmedo)