We asked DSF’s Bottom, Adam Altman, to share his thoughts on the fourth week of rehearsal for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Adam has perhaps performed in more plays at DSF than anyone besides Founding Artistic Director Molly Cahill Govern. Adam has appeared in Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, The Winter’s Tale, and, now, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Opening is just around the corner which means we’ve been running the show. As far as I’m concerned the more times you can do a complete run-through of a play you’re rehearsing the better. Working through scenes, stopping and starting, going through the text with a fine tooth comb, TABLEWORK (so excited we had two days of tablework this year) are all important parts of the rehearsal process, but when all that’s been done you need to throw it up on the stage full of energy and confusion (hopefully just a little bit) and see what you’ve got. This is a point in the rehearsal process when the full cast is called for every rehearsal. Some are seeing scenes they’re not in for the first time, or at least with more attentive eyes. So, everyone involved gets a chance to see/experience the story that’s being told. Sometimes this means new discoveries are made. Sometimes that a piece doesn’t fit into the puzzle quite right, and decisions need to be made. It’s a time for the actors to dig in and ride the wave of the show and see where it takes them.
Now that we’ve been running I’ve gained some confidence in my throughline as Bottom. I came into rehearsal with a fairly specific idea of how I wanted to portray him, but also with plenty of question marks. Director David Stradley has been/continues to be invaluable in this. I have seen him helping me and this idea along not only with his direction of me, but also in his direction of my awesome scene partners. Thrilled! Honestly, Midsummer had never been one of my favorite plays, but working on it with this very talented group of people has altered my opinion considerably. This production is hilarious and touching and is filled with moments of real truth, depth, soul. Do Not Miss It!
This week saw the end of our indoor rehearsals and I’m sure we’ll miss the A/C, but looking forward to a few rehearsals at Rockwood before we open on Friday, yes this coming Friday. Alot of our time this week will be spent in fine tuning the show’s technical aspects; ready to see what a raked stage does to our bodies and the work we’re coming in with and how we need to adjust to that. It will be a time of some confusion and frustration, but we’re going to come out on the other side ready for anything and anyone! Let’s Go! The Final Push!