Making LOUDER FASTER funnier

posted by Carlyn Aquiline, Literary Manager and Dramaturg

Today is preview #3 for Louder Faster, after a day off for the actors and most of the artistic personnel. I say “most” because the playwrights were at work yesterday refining the plot and the jokes with judicious revisions and cuts that were handed out to the actors at the beginning of today’s rehearsal, quickly memorized by them, put in to the show by the director (artistic director Tracy Brigden) during rehearsal for tonight’s performance, only to be tested in front of an audience. Tomorrow, we’ll do the same thing again. That’s the preview process, and for a farcical comedy like Louder Faster that opportunity to continually hone the clarity and humor–hopefully in response to consistent audience reaction–is a crucial part of the writing and production.

The journey Louder Faster has traveled to get to this point has been a lengthy one. Eric Simonson first mentioned the idea to us when we asked him for some play ideas to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Pittsburgh. At that point, we chose to commission what became Speak American, but I loved the idea of the George S. Kaufman play, so I was thrilled when it came back around again with Jeff Hatcher as Eric’s collaborator. That was two years ago. After that, briefly, the timeline was a first draft in January 2010, a reading in New York in June 2010, a workshop here in November 2010, and the start of rehearsals for the world premiere in April 2011–with a number of revised drafts along the way.   

After those two years, the work isn’t quite complete yet–we still have three days, three previews, to watch and listen and make changes, to bolster the stakes and streamline the story and refine the designs and deepen the relationships, and make Louder Faster funnier.

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