In April we’re staging two of my one-acts. We’re in rehearsals, and show-time is approaching all too fast. It’s a fun process. And it’s unnerving. Every stage production is a race against time: never finished, never perfect. There are dozens of variables at play, and of course that’s what makes for the challenge and the beauty of theatre.
At night, after rehearsals, Mama and I read stories to our girls. I am re-learning Dr. Seuss. It’s wonderful how vividly my memory has retained the language and the imagery. ‘From there to here, from here to there,’ Dr. Seuss says. ‘Funny things are everywhere.’ Not an unworthy observation. It may be some time until I have that kind of economy of words, let alone the good doctor’s ability to paint entertaining pictures.
Every time a child reads ‘One Fish Two Fish’ it comes alive again. That child experiences it uniquely. Watching my girls enjoy it makes the book new for me.
Essentially, that’s why I do theatre. We tend to objectify words: they are gathered to form one static cultural object or other. But, in fact, the words are alive. Every performance of a play – I would add every rehearsal – infuses words with new life and makes a subtly new story. That’s real story-telling.