When creating our concept for War of the Worlds, we decided that we really wanted to explore the stories of those effected by the broadcast—so the Public was created. They expose the tricks Orson Welles used to manipulate the beliefs of his listeners during the original broadcast. They give voice to what happens when we depend too much on media and don't question our impressions of the world.
In this vein, we thought it would be great to expose you, our public, to some of the goings on in our rehearsal process. Perhaps exposing our tricks, maybe giving some context before you see the show, and hopefully sparking your interest by giving you a window into our world.
During the course of our project we are using a tool called Viewpoints. I like to compare it to sketching a drawing before you paint a picture. When you sketch you observe and explore the different elements of your subject. Things like shape, proportion, line weight, or shading. Over the course of many sketches you get familiar with your subject, and pull bits and pieces from each of your drawings when you go to make your final painting.
Viewpoints is similar. In these exercises we introduce our elements of creation. We use things like shape, tempo/rhythm, space, and gesture to sketch our subject, the text. In our first rehearsal (video 1) we introduced our cast to viewpoints by exploring each viewpoint without the context of the show. As rehearsals have continued we have introduced things like music, themes from the show, and text. When devising a show, this gives us a starting place and a common language to move forward with other parts of the process. Sometimes its a stage image, sometimes an emotion, or even what it means to be part of a group. These sketched elements turn into story and into blocking. We then integrate this into our final product, the show we present to you.
Our latest video, from our 6th rehearsal, is showing that next stage of the process. Realize that these videos are just glimpses, bits we found interesting and thought represent part of our journey. As we move forward, we invite you to ask questions, contribute your thoughts, and maybe share some of your own stories.
Thank you for letting us open up what is usually never seen by an audience. We find it exciting to share, and really think it will be more enriching for both of us. I look forward to you joining us when our sketch turns into a painting.