As we finish up our fourth week in the rehearsal room and head into tech, I’m feeling cool, calm, and collected. I’m so eager to share this play with Washington, DC and NRTC audiences. As Brian Sutow (Co-Artistic Director and “Jason” in Suicide, Incorporated) has mentioned, this is a play we have been excited about for over a year now, and every day we tear into it even more.
I imagine what I’m most excited about is the cast. They’re a tremendous group of men who have been willing to put themselves aside and dig into this rich, economical text every single day. The play, while exploring suicide and its ramifications, is really looking at what it means to be a man and to have the ability to express ourselves or ask for help. In a world that is continuing to become more and more power hungry and fast, this is a play that seems more important now than ever. How do we take the time to stop and assess? How do we find the courage to ask for what we need (either from ourselves or from others)? How do we face the truth?
I teach a good deal and I talk to my actors and singers about how important process is and how our lives are a perfect mirror for what our work can and should be. We are constantly seeking a better life “process.” Better ways to eat, make money, relate, etc. Our work as artists is very much the same. It changes based on the people we meet and interact with, the loves we gain and lose or the amazing book we read. That goes to say that we all agreed from day one that the work on Suicide, Incorporated wouldn’t end until June 23rd, and so I’m excited to continue to search for the next few days in the room and head into the theater on Tuesday.
Our designers were very excited after today’s design run, which is always a good sign. They can be a tough audience because they are, rightfully, concerned about their department and yet they all started our production meeting following the run by talking about how “surprisingly funny and moving” and “fast and exciting” the play is and how “tremendous” the cast is. They’re right on all fronts.
I haven’t been as excited about a play I’ve directed since last season’s Touch.
Brian Sutow’s Week One on Suicide, Incorprated.
Brian Sutow’s Week Two on Suicide, Incorporated.