Saturday, March 07, 2009

Banning Picasso at the Lapin Agile, part 7

When our play got banned from the La Grande High School stage, we had several parents and community members step up and offer help. People have opened their hearts and their wallets to make sure that this project doesn't die.

The parent of one of my cast members gave us access to this building for a rehearsal space. Everyday we meet here and go through our paces. So far our rehearsals have characterized by a combination of focus and playfulness. The cast is highly motivated to put up a good show. They understand what's at stake. Our production will be in a real sense our closing argument in this entire public trial. Meanwhile, the debate continues to be carried out on the editorial pages of our local paper. The letters in support of the school's ban include calls for a boycott of the production, praise for the superintendent for supporting Bible values in our schools, and alarms about declining morality and standards in our schools. Some of the letters on the side supporting the play have come from LHS students and graduates, current and former students of mine, and from parents and community members.
The online edition of the paper is even running an electronic poll on the question "Did the school board make the right decision in banning the play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile? You can vote and check the latest results here.

Working with individual actors on character development and on their craft is my favorite part of the theatre process. If people could watch the actual process of assembling a cast into a cohesive and collaborative unit, of individual actor's explorations of character development, of the rigorous discipline they submit themselves to in an effort to successfully perform on the stage, they would be in awe, I think, of what these kids endeavor to do.


Blogger jdk said...

I hope some one is documenting this process.

1:08 PM  

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