Last Saturday was our last day rehearsing at “The Haight” warehouse.
This was the home of the Next Wave art show earlier this year, and it is an unassuming place where you can work in relative peace and quiet.
It was great to have a consistent place to work. When we rehearsed R&J in 2009, it was difficult because we had to keep changing venues. We actually ended up in the corridor on the first floor of the Professional Building, which realty tested everyone’s resolve.
Now we’re back in the Elgin Art Showcase and the set up in the space is like nothing else we’ve ever done before in that venue. We’re doing an Arena staging with the audience on all four sides. Adding to that, we’ve also readjusted the audience and its relationship to the actors and the playing space. The whole effect is reminiscent of the laboratory theaters in the 19th century where medical students could look down on doctors while they operated on cadavers. In essence that’s what Macbeth is all about: a study of one man’s decent into guilt, paranoia and fear.
There is much more work to do before opening on Nov. 4, but the pieces are in place for a thrilling, thoughtful, and very intimate performance of this challenging play.
With less than two weeks to go, the production will continue to take shape as the actors start to own the words, own the characters, and ultimately, own the stage and the playing area. It’s a time-consuming process that requires patience, but the payoff is well worth it.