Hi anyone out there... you get a break from Tony this post. This is Amanda Noel Allen and I play Frank, a nun, and Ralph in Merry Devil.
This process for an actor is quite different than the one Tony is going through. For one, I will just admit that I've read very little of this blog thus far. While textual background, source texts, reading a whole vs. cut version of a play are regularly part of my prep work for a show, once rehearsals start I by and large accept the script I'm getting as the tool I get to work with to tell this story.
What's been cool and unique about this experience is that sometimes Tony left side notes in the script and let us PICK which quarto version to say. This gave me a level of power I am not used to, though the funny thing was only one quarto version really felt "right" so there didn't seem to be much of a choice at all, just thankful that the "right" text was an option. When I say "right" I generally mean the one that scans the easiest or is a clearer image to memorize. I had a considerable number of these variations in Frank's monologue about remaining true to Raymond.
There's a lot I could say about the post-modern notion that the written text and performance text are always shaping each other and this project illustrates it very openly, but instead I'd rather tell you all how much FUN this show is. That is one of the most important things to me as an actor to find in a rehearsal room. Fun amidst the hard work makes all the work better and allows the cast as a whole to take bigger risks and play wackier characters.
Now we are all looking forward to a new cast member joining the fun and then off to Philly.
If work ever slows down again, I'll try and write another post.
If not, back to your scholar and host Tony... or maybe another cast member!