Jun 202013
 
Sissel Bakken, Matthew Ingraham, Hanna Bondarewska, Christopher Henley and Rachel Silvert

It was so very thrilling to be able to observe today’s rehearsal of Act 3, especially as it was the first time that I was able to see the play that I know so well being enacted, and Hanna’s vision of the play being brought to life.  My immersion into the play and the connection with the characters were instant as the actors, Matthew playing George and Christopher impersonating Thomas, have by now become the protagonists. Watching them perfecting their powerful performances under the direction of Hanna, and with the help of Rachel, made me realize how far the team have come. They are half way through the rehearsals, and will shortly move the trials onto the actual stage at Flashpoint. At this stage the focus of their work is on re-working selected scenes in search of that ideal combination of words, movement, expression and interaction, which would bring about the ideal effect in a most powerful way possible. Cannot wait to see future rehearsals with all three characters present….

The Third Breast–Work in Progress

During the break I had a moment to talk with the team and ask them about their impressions of where they were at and the process of getting there.

Matthew and Christopher talked about the process of bringing ‘The Third Breast,’ written in socialist Poland of 1970s, to its American 21st century context. They mentioned the importance of working on the English text with its translator, Sylwia Daneel, adjusting lines to make them ‘flow’, and at the same time getting to know the characters, internalizing the soul of the play and memorizing parts. Differences between the European style of directing and acting (more prescribed and structured) and the American one (more freelance and actor-centered), and the constructive ways of dealing with them, were also raised. The actors emphasized the importance of each rehearsal, as well as informal team meetings, in dealing with the issues as they arise, and in building up their awareness, knowledge and confidence both on individual and professional level.

Hanna focused on the importance of group development strategies, which have been in place since the team’s creation. She said that the cast and crew had decided to set up their own ‘commune’ as a vehicle to identify with the play, but more importantly, to get to know each other better and feel more comfortable as a group. Each common activity, be it meditation, energy work, music, dance, movement or ritual inspired by Native American traditions, has created a new level of unity, deeper realization of importance of nature, peace and harmony, and has brought new insights into the play and its characters. The ‘commune’ is very much looking forward to their trip to Mount Jackson planned for the end of June which will allow them the opportunity to consolidate the work they have done to-date, on both professional and personal levels.

To see what they have accomplished, Get your ticket now

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