Next week, Smartphones will start taking over the stage... little by little... first the sets designed by Brian Sidney Bembridge, then the light designs by Trap Door company member Richard Norwood, who came to see a run through, the music by the Brazilian composer Gabriel Dib, a riot, and finally the wardrobe designs by Tonette Navarro.
The actors have already made some great progress developing the physicality of their characters. The basic blocking has been arranged. But we continue to improve, clean, making every movement more meaningful and sharp. I think often of Moliere, and the play I did in school, back in Madrid, playing Trissotin, as an actor, in "Les Femmes Savantes" (The learned women). Twenty years later I've been very inspired by the clean movements of that farce and by how much fun I had being on that play.
The biggest challenge for all of us is to follow the wicked and broken internal logic within the script of "Smartphones". At times, the ridiculous theater requires from actors to jump into the material without any floating devices, and leaving aside naturalistic acting methods, tools and tricks of the trade... and that is a lot to ask from actors who have invested years and tons of money in becoming "good actors". Yes, the ridiculous theater works in that scary realm of the "good bad-acting". (And what the hell is good acting, anyway?)
The characters of Smartphones move from one moment to the next as if they had fish memory, and they didn't remember what happened earlier. They seem to be void of intentions, or have very passing intentions that are not very meaningful.
The cast could have not been more generous in indulging me and my vision for the show, always taking everything I suggest to a higher, surprising level of excellence and hilarity.
I can't wait to see the final product!! And be able to laugh as a audience member.
In the meantime, I continue to be "happy as a clam".
I'm the luckiest S.O.B. in Chicago. Below some pics by cast member Jodi Kingsley...
A self portrait by Geraldine (Amelia) and Jodi (Chantal)
taken with a Smartphone during a run through this week.
The great Antonio Brunetti.
Custom Designer Tonette Navarro and diva Geraldine Dulex.
Chris Popio continues to be the hardest
working member of the cast. ;-)