Hello devoted readers!
As I type this, less than ten feet away, Max and Grace are working on accents and characters. The actors' mornings have been devoted to blocking the two acts and their afternoons are spent on character development. It seems weird to fall into schedule or any sort of normal routine at a place as beautiful ( and perhaps just a little bit magical compared to the concrete and steel of cities) as Ucross, but we have fallen into a nice rhythm. We each have our own rooms, a luxury I didn't even have at Vassar, in three different buildings with common rooms, coffee makers, little libraries and laundry machines. But I think my favorite part is our red, wrap-around porch. I did some work out there this morning and even enjoyed being erratically hit by sprinklers.
We had our first group discussion today about the last couple of lines in the play. A girl from Bethlehem speaks about her friend having been killed by Israeli soldiers and then her feelings about September 11th. They are hard, hard lines, to read, to feel, to think about and finally to perform. And of course, this made it a hard discussion. Everybody has different gut and intellectual reactions to those lines and I struggle to articulate mine in a cohesive, understandable way. I actually, very strangely, felt myself close to tears at one point. But it was also an important, stimulating, exciting discussion (I know there are too many adjectives in that sentence, but the conversation took so many different turns and tones I should include even more to fully describe our dialogue.) We have a long way to go to reaching any sort of decision about the lines- and I am really happy about that. I think these might turn out being some of the best discussions we have.
On a completely other note, we had a little photo shoot today by the mosquito congested river. As we were walking over, the cotton falling from the trees looked like steady flurries of snow. For some reason, I cannot post the lovely group photo from it, but it will be up soon! Amazingly, we actually all look happy (not one awkward half-closed eye in the photo!)