Embarking on this journey with Kristian and Jonathan has been one of the more fulfilling artistic experiences for me since we closed Bacchic in October. The work has been especially fruitful because I feel that (in the case of Jonathan and I especially) we have further clarified the vocabulary of the Bacchic form. Kristian’s influence grew from an initial outside eye to a changing force in the way we talk about the work.
Rehearsing in New York is a different world from Block and we are constantly coming up against the challenges it presents. For example, while on the island, we didn’t have to worry about coordinating rehearsal space with actor availibility, as these creative and practical aspects were built into the structure of the retreat. It is safe to say that doing what we did on the Island in New York would be exponentially harder, if possible at all.
I’ve found myself removed from the physical training that allowed myself to flourish on Block. This is an additional challenge to maintaining the physical score of the piece. I find myself in a new mindset of looking forward to getting into the physical explorations of the Block Island Retreat.
At the same time, it is really lovely to be rehearsing in the city I call home. Block Island was fantastic, but I definitely missed being in New York. This experience has struck a nice balance. I love the scientific aspects we have brought to the dramaturgy surrounding this play. I feel like even the information that has not made it into the final piece has informed both this process and also the directions we want to take Bacchic. In its current incarnation, Bacchic is a lovely exploration of L'Assommoir and the Bacchae, but I feel that it could definitely use an injection of the research behind the body's physical reaction to alcohol we have found over the past few weeks.
It is incredibly exciting to be working with Electric Eye this coming Saturday. Not only do I look forward to performing with In the Water for the first time in months, but I also cannot wait to see the work that other theatre artists across the city have chosen to share with us this weekend.
Charles Coursey Jr.