Posts Tagged Braden Moran
I’m not an experienced blogger as evidenced by my extreme neglect of my blogging duties…but my inability to find the time to compile some thoughts more regularly throughout the rehearsal process is a great testament to the tremendous amount of attention this play requires! I knew the simplicity on the page was deceptive – but I didn’t know how deceptive. It’s one of the more complex shows I’ve worked on and demands a good deal of imagination, focus, and technical facility. There are only two actors on stage the whole time so just memorizing the lines is a job in and of itself!
It’s been an absolute blur of activity since we started rehearsal… as we’ve begun to pull the layers back on the show, the depth of the text continues to reveal itself in fantastically surprising and continually challenging ways. As we discover those new challenges, the magnitude of the amount of work involved (on all levels of the production) is daunting but invigorating. I couldn’t be more excited about the team of artists compiled by City Theatre for Mary’s Wedding…it’s an honor and a privilege to be counted amongst them. Every day at work is a joy…there is something so wonderful about this play that inspires very unique and individual responses…and everyone involved has a great passion for the telling of this story.
We’ve begun previews of the show – which means we’re rehearsing for about 5 hours during the day and then performing the show at night. Those rehearsals allow us to continue crafting the show to best fit into the space as well as add new technical layers of lighting, costumes and sound to flesh out the dream world we dwell in. We’ve been learning a great deal about the show as we’ve had our first audiences…and one of the things I’ve learned is that it is physically and mentally exhausting – in a good way!! It’s a nightly workout and I appreciate that from a show…It continues to grow nightly as we settle into the space and the technical elements combine with the work we did in the rehearsal hall…
This is a fun time for an actor…the whole things starts to come together and the technical elements that have been living only in your imagination throughout rehearsal are suddenly vibrantly alive in the space. Our designers and crew have done a fabulous job of complimenting the work we’ve done in rehearsals and – in many ways – elevating it to another level. I cannot rave enough about all of their work…
And I can’t wait to see how it’s received by people…I think we’ve got something really lovely on our hands and am excited to share it with City Theatre’s audiences!!
Here at City Theatre we are in the heart of technical rehearsals for Mary’s Wedding – this is when all of the technical elements of the performance get added to the hard work the actors have done in the rehearsal room. Director Stuart Carden and actors Braden Moran and Robin Abramson have moved into the theatre where they are joined by lighting designer Andrew Ostrowski, costume designer Susan Tsu and sound designer/composer Andre Pluess. Everyone is working hard to put the finishing touches on the play before the doors open to the public for previews.
(If you want to learn more about Andre Pluess and Susan Tsu, click on their links to the right under “Designers”)
Posted by Christine Pini, Artistic Assistant
Early in the rehearsal process, director Stuart Carden and actors Robin Abramson and Braden Moran explored how to physically express several key moments in the play. In addition to generating ideas for the physical vocabulary for the production it also gave the actors and director the opportunity to explore the stage space. One of the exciting parts of this process was testing how the moments in the play that take place on horseback might be realized in a theatrical way on stage (there will be no live horses in this production!). You will find some snapshots of this part of the rehearsal process below. In addition, there are some great photos of the actors on a special horseback riding trip.
Posted by Christine Pini, Artistic Assistant
Braden Moran, who will play Charlie in our upcoming production of Mary’s Wedding, shares some thoughts on his approach to beginning work on a new role:
The moment before jumping into a new text is always an exciting time. Its full of so many mixed emotions – I’m thrilled and terrified and anxious and intrigued…and honestly – there’s just a basic joy that comes with every new play and that is the feeling of being very grateful to have a job (as an actor, that’s generally the case – but in the current economic climate, its a sentiment many can agree with, I’m sure…) So I always want to take as full advantage of the opportunity in front of me and do my best to prepare for the monumental task at hand.
I’ve rarely met an actor who doesn’t approach a new text with some form of trepidation and concern. Making a play work is like alchemy…there are so many things involved and so many different people striving to create one singular piece of art made up of so many individual efforts. It’s a lot harder than one can imagine. I feel good about this one…I’ve worked with Stuart Carden (the director) before (both when I was at school with him here in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon and also in Chicago where I now live) and have a tremendous amount of respect for his abilities. It always alleviates some of the anxiety when you know you’re in very capable hands. AND I think the text is fantastic – simple, yet deceptively challenging. So I look forward to jumping into it with everyone involved.
One of the things I do before first rehearsal is just sit with the play as much as I can. I go to a coffee shop and I read it and re-read it (oddly, working at home is difficult for me – I find that being in a public place allows my mind to wander in a productive way – latching onto various people’s walks and tics and rhythms can sometimes give tremendous insight into the people on the page in front of you…just simply observing human behavior is one of the joys of being an actor) Sometimes I do nothing but soak the play in – I try not to “work” on it, but rather let it work on me. Sounds a little “hippy trippy” I know, but that’s the best way I can describe it. I let the images of the words start to play on my imagination. I ask questions about the world of the play for me to answer (immediately…or eventually…or perhaps, never) and I just try to figure out who these people are that are having these experiences…AND who are the people that use these specific words to convey and understand those experiences.
With historical plays I always like to do a good deal of research on the historical context of the play. MARY’S WEDDING is set in Canada before and after WWI. So I’ve been checking in on that world – looking for films and books and poetry and letters and music from the time to get a sense of the emotional landscape.
For me, creating a character is a bit like solving a mystery – there are all these clues in the text as to who this person is and its the job of the actor to seek them out, analyze them and put your findings to use in fleshing this person out. So, that said, I’m going to go bury my head in the script and see what I can find out. We’ve got a few weeks to go before first rehearsal – but it never feels like enough time.
I’m really looking forward to this journey…it should be a good one.