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  • Nicole J. Burton

Birthing a Play

We write plays at home in the quiet of our offices. But even when we've finished writing, they're not born until we hand them to someone else - a group of someone elses - and they send us away and make it their own. Fred & Frieda's been in rehearsal for three weeks now (delayed by the snows). My director kindly but firmly asked me to stay away until the cast had had a chance to gel and work together on their roles. On Monday, I'll attend my first rehearsal. Already, the actors have asked probing questions that take me by surprise. How could I not know this or that about my characters? How could I not know how to pronounce all these foreign words I'd included? Could Frieda's son be using a cell phone instead of a land line? Exactly when does the action move from the synagogue flashback to the Berlin apartment? Bringing the play to actors is bringing the play into the world that wants to meet it. I am not the only midwife, and I am not God. What will happen when Fred reunites with Frieda? We can read the words of the script but to experience the play, we have to go to the Greenbelt Arts Center on April 15-18, 2010. Come keep me company at the birth of the play.

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