First rehearsals are always exciting. From design presentations to a meet and greet with the Victory Gardens’ staff, there is always something electrifying about freshly laced spike tape outlining the parameters of the set, and actors fiercely highlighting their scripts in anticipation of that first read.
Before we began, Director Joanie Schultz shared a few words about the importance of the play and the way it resonates in the world today: she spoke briefly about the complexities surrounding Assisted Living, and the realities that face our loved ones afflicted with Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease; she touched on the life and music of Arvo Pärt, and the deep metaphors behind a whole rest note in music composition.
And once introductions had died down, and design renderings had circulated, everyone settled into their seats and those magic words were heard: “Rest. A play by Samuel D. Hunter.” And then something happened. The one thing this play speaks to, and one that continues to permeate the rehearsal space — A moment. A collective breath. A rest.
The play, though complex in nature, is not only a tender tribute to our elderly, but also to our millennials; two American generations colliding, both at crossroads, everyone in transition, and all searching, all hopeful.
The first week of rehearsal is a time for discovery. As we continue to learn more about the world of the play and its inhabitants, we begin to develop a deeper understanding of the profound messages Sam has left for us in the wake of his words. In just a few short weeks, we will be sharing that process with our patrons throughout preview performances of Sam Hunter’s Rest. It is within those crucial days that we are able to learn from our audiences — the final component of our process, and one of the most important.
We hope you will join us on this journey. We’d love to have you.