Tony Kushner, an American playwright, wrote A Bright Room Called Day in the 1980s. Set in Berlin in 1932/33, it’s about a group of artist friends living in an era of growing paranoia and uncertainty during the fall of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Hitler and the Nazis. The story is focuses on Agnes Eggling, a middle-aged actress, and the play unfolds (for the most part) inside her apartment. This play is currently in development. It will be performed by half of the final year VCA acting company of 2012 in about 3 weeks time, under the stewardship of director Tom Healey. I’ve been collaborating with Emma Hall, one of the performers (more on that later) and she invited me along to capture a couple of hours of her rehearsal.
This series of photographs captures a scene rehearsed between Emma, playing Annabella, and Natascha Flowers, playing Agnes, the lead role.
The play is about artists, so it will include sketches and the like.
Time is spent first reading and understanding the nuances of the text.
The atmosphere is quiet while the ideas are thrashed out.
The stage crew sit in to these rehearsal sessions.
Tom Healey, the director, helps Emma and Natascha get inside the head of their respective characters.
Tom strikes me as incredibly insightful, articulate, expressive, supportive and patient.
I can’t resist the lighting and details…you know me…
Figuring out how to manage the props.
And now they start to rehearse their dialogue in the space.
Agnes poses for Annabella.
They read some lines … they stop … they start, they try again, and again, until it’s right.
Every word in every sentence is carefully managed.
As Emma says, ‘it’s about constant curiosity, discovery, exploration, experimentation – a what IS THAT THING?
What is this moment, what is this relationship?’
Long days for everyone, and it will be totally worth it.
Good luck everyone!