Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In development: Sea of Sand

Tuesday afternoon, I looked up from my computer to see dolphins frolicking in the waves. It wasn't a hallucination (though that's always possible when working in the theatre of the mind); I was on the ferry, Vancouver-bound, after a productive script session on my major summer project, The Only Animal's Sea of Sand, by TOA Managing Artistic Director Eric Rhys Miller. Ferry travel and lunch at Molly's Reach were definite perks to start my dramaturgical week, but the real treat was spending 48 hours in one very imaginative playwright's universe - Eric Rhys Miller's. One of the appeals of writer's retreats is the chance to have free ranging discussions about the work, to socialize with your creative team, to eat together and see each other outside of our professional roles. Being hosted by the playwright offered similar benefits - break time that included family frolicks in the woods; delicious home cooking from the playwright himself; and a chance to tap into the writer's rhythm while we worked in the same room on different parts of the play. We're entering a transitional stage, conceiving the directing plan while still firmly rooted in a detailed comb-through of the text. We both moved fluidly from laptop to script hard copy to notebook, sorting the physical image bank from the big picture plot from the actor-preparation notes. We'll be working with actors starting June 6th, and I can't wait to hear the casts' voices breathing the script into being before we get out on the beach in July.


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