From Don’s Blackberry….
Morning of the first show. Called to 9 am meeting. First a few and then more including 2 lead actors.
We got the lead composer and writer and producer to go through the list of sins
. Essentially the actors are not reflecting the history. Some characters as written do show the best nature of the story. The argument about giving the land to government for the space center can be less.
It is the same as in US with beginning producers of course. They are learning.
Of course the writer and composer are feeling if only they could talk to the cast – if only they could direct. And so I released the cast for the afternoon before the show to them from 1:30 to 4. Talk about character intro to history, expressive singing and line reading….
4pm to 7pm makeup set. They love this.
4-6pm Dance – refine.
7:00 cast report.
So no run through in the afternoon. The writer and composer (who arrived 2 days ago) feel they didn’t get enough time with the cast.
So the writer will redirect all of the acting scenes to his style. It is unclear whether he was hinting at this all along when he gave notes or it is a last minute decision to save his script from feeling so slow and filled with pronouncements about the great country.
My associate director is concerned about how the scene will slow down.
I completely yield to what acting style they chose as it is just one non realistic approach or another. In fact an in-theater style is not what is suggested by our set and environment.
The basic fact is one I know – when the pace picks up in the final day before production no one can handle the translation process. I realize today just how much my composer and writer have no patience for translation as they talk long without the care to translate for me – they are talking to the rest.
I am the only english speaker. One producer is fairly fluent but must follow the leader and does not to appear as a mere translator. Curly injects his own thoughts and has little authority. Jiazi is quiet and meek in difficult circumstances. The limited english that the assoc dir and MD have freezes with stress.
More than ability is the usual flip to us against them when a native country is ready to do it their way after they think they have had enough.
So between pride, desire to drive the boat and following their leaders the foreigner who comes to help is eventually thanked and pushed aside.
Like USA a person will obey the will and try to please the person for their next job – in this way the american is always undermined even if they are paying the staff. The assumption being that the foreigner will go away eventually.
Flip side – when information cannot be delivered, and understood it is like you are in a silence chamber. You may try to scream – and oh oh oh
I did. Rarely in nyc but here – yes.