We sat around a small table in the dance studio located deep into the Cite des Arts building. At the previous rehearsal Christy, the director of my play, had asked the actors to read through the script and find descriptive words for their characters. Each actor was then told to narrow down her list to the three words she felt were key to her character.
As the actors pulled their notes out of their binders and began to discuss their characters and share their lists, I felt like I was in an alternative universe. I was observing myself listening to them talk with such energy and passion. These were characters that I had put on the page, and yet they were making them come alive. They each cared about their character. They created a life and backstory for the woman they were playing and brought new ideas I had not consciously considered.
Christy and I also met with the set and lighting designers and the stage manager/costume/prop designer. As I listened to their ideas for the design of the play, how much they had thought about it, and observed how their creative juices were flowing, I felt an immense sense of gratitude and amazement.
The play now has a life outside of my creation that others have so lovingly adopted. I told my husband that I will stop attending rehearsals for a while. I will let these artists take the play on its journey. I will let go of my baby.
This is a totally new experience for me. Perhaps this is what a parent feels when her child graduates from high school or gets married. Or how an architect feels after designing a house and then watches a family inhabit the space she has created. Or a composer listening to a piece performed by an orchestra for the first, second or third time.
I can’t wait to see how the play develops. I feel so grateful to all of the talented people who are bringing my play to life.
Have you ever had a similar experience? What for you has taken on a life of its own?