Directing Apprentice Sarah Gehring gives us some insight into the rehearsal room for THE PIANO LESSON:
SARAH: For the actors, director, and production team, the rehearsal room is where work gets done. It is our office, and also our playground... Sometimes it can be a house in the Hill District of 1936 Pittsburgh, where Bernice Charles lives with her uncle Doaker, her daughter Maretha, and her family's piano. We are three weeks into rehearsal right now, and we are getting closer to that place every day.
I was drawn to Portland Playhouse for its commitment to telling diverse stories. Since being brought in as the assistant director on this production and reading this brilliant piece of human history, I have been asking myself constantly, 'Why was I not talking about this before? How can we bring people into this conversation, both people who need to speak, and people who need to listen?'
In my eyes, listening has been my greatest opportunity on this show. I have had the opportunity to do a lot of dramaturgy, answering questions about the specifics of the world of the play. Seeking out these answers led us to real stories that demanded to be heard; stories of music and family and the need to persevere. Listening to the cast share their personal connections to those stories. Listening, and working, and playing in this fantastic rehearsal room, with these fantastic people.
THE PIANO LESSON runs through November 16th -- get your tickets here!