Sweeney – Run notes from 2/11 final dress

OUR GOAL: - The goal is not perfection. It never is and it never will be in live theatre. If perfection is the goal, we are playing the wrong game. Anyone who has ever been on stage for more than a few performances notices that it’s impossible to do the same show twice exactly the same way – it can’t be done. We are all different human beings in a million tiny physical and emotional ways from day to day. And when you combine those little differences into this big complicated collaboration with each other and the audience, the result from night to night will be as different as thumb prints.

So if the goal isn’t perfection, then what? Truth. The goal is to get our minds and bodies and spirits to fill this structure (music, words, blocking, etc.) with Truth every night. If we can do it truthfully, we will have done it well. Even if there are rough edges, even if the structure isn’t perfect, Truth will win.  Live in the truth of this story every time you step on stage, and you cannot go wrong.

Drop a line? We in the audience didn’t notice. Make a mistake? We forgive you. Leave your heart in the wings? We will feel it.  That’s the way of live theatre. And that’s why I know that this weekend is going to be a tremendous success. Thanks to each of you – every single member of the cast, crew, and orchestra, for making this show your Truth for these weeks. I can’t wait for people to share in this story.

Hedda Gabler - A Note from the Director

Have you seen the movie Mean Girls (2004) starring Lindsay Lohan?  Well, I see Hedda Gabler as a “mean girl” of the 19th century. She is the daughter of the wealthy and powerful General Gabler, entertained with horseback riding and pistols, courted by every eligible man in the county, and trained in the politics of the dinner party. She lies, manipulates, and uses all those around her. In this play Ibsen attempts to reveal the underlying reasons for her misbehavior.

As the play begins, Hedda is horrified to find herself married to a middle class History professor and looking forward to a life of service to her husband and (potential) children. She longs to have the same power as her male counterparts.  While the men debate big ideas, drink, explore their sexuality, and take credit for their accomplishments, the female characters each find themselves in a life of service. Hedda discovers that although she is the most intelligent and competent person in her world, she is the least in control of her life.

I think audiences are challenged by this play largely because Hedda is so “mean” and we are less likely to identify with a character that acts outside of social and moral boundaries. I hope that while you experience this production you are able to look past her petty actions and see the world from Hedda’s eyes.