Friday, May 9, 2008

Edward Albee's Occupant: The Final, Final Dress Rehearsal

Posted by Siobhan Lockhart, Artistic Intern, 9 May 2008

Final dress rehearsals are always significant, as they mark the end of one stage of the theatrical process (rehearsals) and signify the beginning of another (performing in front of an audience). However, Sunday night’s final dress rehearsal for Edward Albee’s Occupant was especially sentimental for me, as it was not only the final, final dress rehearsal of the 2007-2008 Signature Theatre Company season, but also the final, final dress rehearsal of my internship here at Signature.

The final dress rehearsal is one of many events in the great tradition of Signature camaraderie, as the entire Signature Theatre staff is in attendance. I have really appreciated the conscious efforts Signature makes to ensure its entire staff and the members of the show’s creative staff, production team, and actors are all a part of the process together. The result is an incredibly inviting and positive environment -- no one is toiling away in a bubble, and everyone is aware of the work everyone else is doing.

My final, final dress rehearsal not only exemplified what I value about the collective aspect of working at Signature, but was also a satisfying culmination of some of the more individual and departmental work I have done here as well. My primary responsibility since I have been at Signature has been to assist with the dramaturgical research for the productions. I really didn’t know what to expect when beginning the research for Edward Albee’s Occupant. I was an art history novice, and admittedly knew nothing about Louise Nevelson, though I’ve since found out that I used to pass by one of her sculptures nearly every day on the way to high school!

Thanks to the research that I’ve done for this production, however, I now have a greater appreciation for sculpture and art. First of all, I cannot wait to see a Nevelson exhibit in the future. I have now seen countless images of her sculptures, and just from these photos it is easy to see why many consider her work to be so unique and compelling. It’s not just her art that I have a deeper appreciation of, however – the research I’ve done has also helped me to understand her complex life and personality. As I watched the final dress rehearsal on Sunday, knowing it was in many ways the culmination of my work here at Signature, I found it truly thrilling to have the opportunity to see this artist who I had read so much about brought to life on stage.

Yes, it was a significant final, final dress rehearsal indeed.

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