Charles Mee, Playwright
"I would say you don't have to act a lot or do too much because it's the first read, but that never happens, so just do whatever!!" I couldn't agree with Tina more (director of Iphigenia 2.0)! How true of a statement is that, you know? All of us actor-people have a very intimate relationship with the first read and the tradition of it, and, boy-oh-boy, the day a director says that to a cast that I am part of and it actually happens, I'm going to slump in my chair, rather kerplunked, and wonder what kind of a world I live in - Actors who don't try too hard on the first read… What?
Anyway, it was quite the merry time on Tuesday. There was a lot of chatter and "getting to know each other" going on before things really started up, and by the time the speeches had been made and we had taken our first break, the anticipation and almost electric energy was just flowing around the table of actors in the center of the room. It wouldn't be fair to give all the credit for the phenomenal energy in the room during the rehearsal to the amazing people in the room, because come on… the number of pastries I inhaled with glazes and crumbles and fruits galore were undoubtedly taking over my thought process, central nervous system, and blowing my energy and excitement through the roof, and I don't believe I was the only one to help finish those platters of goodies…
During the reading, it was pretty amazing to watch these actors interact sitting in the confines of a square of tables. It was evident by the uproarious laughter and the attentiveness in the room, that the bonds of father-mother, father-daughter, mother-daughter, friends, and lovers are already developing and being explored in the cast of Iphigenia 2.0. I loved witnessing the actors dive headlong into glee, grief, remorse, betrayal, honor, trust, and love with a script still in hand, their street clothes on, and designers, staff, and others seated on all sides. All inhibitions were dropped, and it was only the first reading!
I just can't wait to see what the theatre is going to look like with the set and props completely moved in, the actors in costume and off-book, and the lighting and sound designers getting as wild as possible (Oh, and I almost forgot… Tina, the director, perched at the helm with a Mary Poppins-like bag of ideas to be thrown around and sometimes used, sometimes burned, and always tried)!!