by Diana Jurand
It was early August, a month after the deadline to select the Apprentice Capstone show. All four of us (Julia Masotti, Philip Muehe, and Mike Swan, and myself) plunked down in the Artists Residence and gave ourselves a two hour block to make one of the biggest decisions of our Apprenticeship. Our task was not to simply pick a show we liked; we had to carefully decide what message we wanted to send to the Commonweal family. We had to determine what our final choice would offer artistically, emotionally and culturally and why its message was important to us.
We decided we would first pare down the lengthy list. On the table were Proof by David Auburn, The Fox by Alan Miller, Bash by Neil LaBute, And Baby Makes Seven by Paula Vogel, No Exit by Jean-Paul Sartre, and Tigers Be Still by Kim Rosenstock.
The first shows off the docket were the Labute and the Vogel pieces due to the fact that they are solely one act plays. The next piece drooped was No Exit. This is a stately drama and we could have done all sorts of interpretive work placing it in modern times, but we felt we could make a more daring and uncommon choice.
Proof was the next in our deliberation. This piece came with the necessity of using an actor from the Resident Company and, early on, we were not assured of that. Additionally, neither Julia nor I felt strongly about the female characters. Being that this project centers on passion, we knew it had to go.
The decision between our top two (The Fox and Tigers Be Still) wasn’t as easy. I encouraged a reading, aloud, of both plays to gauge our level of interst. There is no question that Tigers Be Still is a higher quality script than The Fox. Each play contains themes which are important to us at this time in our lives. Ultimately it came down to choosing the play that encompassed those themes within the form of a comedy.
- Ain’t nobody got time to see a drama in the middle of winter in Lanesboro.
- Comedies are hard. Let’s do something hard.
- Depression and feeling stuck is a common human experience and ones that we have all experienced at some point. Tigers Be Still reminds us that community, wherever you are, is important. Sometimes you get in a funk, and sometimes it cripples you, and when that happens it is a wonderful thing to lean on the people in your life for support.
At the end of our meeting, we were all aboard the Tiger-train and while 100% enthusiasm may not have been rallied in that early decision making process, it sure is now. We are anxious to begin the rehearsal process and share with you a show that resounds with us all.
The 2013-14 Apprentice Company’s production of Tigers Be Still will run for 2 weeks only. Performance dates are March 20-23 and 27-30. Click through to http://www.commonwealtheatre.org for more information and to make your ticket reservation.