Lost in an Amazing Maze: A Director's Musings

As we begin week 2 of our rehearsals for MR. A's AMAZING MAZE PLAYS, I wanted to check in here at Lyric Arts Blog Central and give everyone a quick update about what's going on in the process of bringing this show to the Lyric Arts stage for the very first time. But first, a word about this amazing (pun intended) play and playwright. Alan Ayckbourn, is a prolific and widely celebrated artist of the British stage. His works have been produced all over the world and won countless awards. After experiencing what he felt like were some rather awful representations of children's theatre in the 1980's, he set out to write a play for young audiences that would be enlightening, engaging, exciting and enjoyable - not only for the younger members of the audience, but for the adults who were there with them. The result: MR. A's AMAZING MAZE PLAYS. In a nutshell, young Suzy and her trusty companion and best friend - an Old English Wolf Boxer named Neville, must wind their away through many rooms in a dark and sometimes scary mansion in order to find the mysterious cabinet of lost sounds. The catch: the audience is in charge of their journey as they move from room to room. Only by way of a vote from the audience do we find out where Suzy and Neville will go next! Sound crazy?! It is!! Sound Exciting?! It is!! Are you on the edge of your seat?! I know I am!!

So, an update on the production process:

Needless to say, a play like this requires a multi-dimensional, intricate set that will allow the audience to feel the same way that Suzy does as she makes her way through the house. And the brother and sister-in-law set design team of Brian and Deborah Proball have delivered! In our production meeting yesterday, we got to see a scale model of the set and it is going to be...yes, I have to say it...AMAZING! And we know we are in good hands as Technical Director, Patrick Vital-Schwartz begins construction. We will be posting some pics of the set model and the building process so check back often!! The rest of the design elements are equally exciting from sound to costumes to props to lights, and I promise I will muse more about those in later postings.

As for rehearsals, I can't say anything without first mentioning my - yes, I'm gonna say it...AMAZING cast. From seasoned Lyric Arts veterans to newcomers, this is a truly wonderful bunch of artists. We have the spent the last few days laughing a lot as we worked our way through the 'blocking' process of Act I. For those that don't know the term, blocking is where we work, very tediously, page by page to figure out every move that the actor will make on stage. Sometimes it can be very taxing, but this has been anything but...it has been a joy to watch the actors' creativity as they get to know their characters. Tonight, we start 'blocking' Act II. Wish us luck as we wander deeper into the maze! :)

Finally, I must say, as a first-time director here at Lyric Arts, that I am constantly impressed by the production staff of this organization. I would call them AMAZING but you might throw something at your computer screen. Suffice it to say, I feel very fortunate that they have invited me to be a part of the team. And if you are reading this, as a community member who attends shows, or someone who has worked at Lyric Arts - you should feel very proud of what you have helped build.

IF you are reading this and you haven't ever SEEN a show at Lyric Arts...what are you waiting for?! MR. A's AMAZING MAZE PLAYS opens on October 15! Get your tickets now!!

Check back often for more musings from the mind of a director. I promise to limit my use of the word AMAZING...maybe. :)