La Fenice's "table work" is primarily about reviewing the scenario as advocates for the stock characters we're playing. In its earliest stage, our scenarios are extremely malleable, so we like to tackle any problems with plot in a character-driven sort of way.
While we do a more "formal" table-work session at the start of the rehearsal process, it usually comes at the end of a series of more informal ones, like this one over beers last week between Genevieve Kinney, who is playing Ruffiana in our next show, Aaron Johnson, our Artistic Director, and Kate Meehan, our Managing Director.
[It's rather important to understand that the bulk of this conversation is underscored by a lot of AC/DC and Guns and Roses from the juke box.]
Genevieve: I had a lot of fun with Columbina from For Whom the Dong Tolls, and Gian [Giacomo Colli] said that, well, really, I was playing Ruffiana. And so, what is that, what's the difference? Why was she a Ruffiana and not a Columbina? And then, this Co...
Aaron Johnson serves as La Fenice's Artistic Director, and is currently playing Orlando, the male lover, in our next show. In this interview, he speaks with Managing Director and long-time collaborator, Kate Meehan.
You had your laptop out the entire rehearsal.
Well, not the entire rehearsal, but for a significant portion of it, yes.
Were you looking at pornography?
Yes, if by pornography you mean our scenario.
We're using technology this time around. Talk about that.
We're chronicling the way we work in a way that probably isn't entirely new to us, but we're employing it more consistently. We have the scenario, which was started as a very simple sketch of a plot, and over the time that we develop new material, we're now able to do live updates through Google Drive. In fact, while you guys were working on the song, Tate and I were actually making jokes back and forth together, editing one of our scenes in the scenario simultaneously in real time. So, he would enter a line and would...
Tate Green is our sprightly young actor playing Arlecchino - the first since it was retired by Jason Fawcett back in 2002. Tate was last seen as Ottavio in Sloop of the Damned, and is the creator and host of the wildly popular YouTube Gong Show.
How has the process of stepping into the fabled shoes of Arlecchino been?
Well, all of the tales of past La Fenice Arlecchinos – shots lined up across the stage and all – I’m feeling it’s the perfect role for me. Although I don’t think I can handle a shot thrown in my eyes.
Don’t worry, that wasn’t Arlecchino’s eyes. Those were mine.
Yes, but you threw it in your own eyes, right?
Yes. But that’s neither here nor there. Tossing liquor into your eyeballs is not a requirement for the role, unless you’re into that kind of thing.
I enjoy the experience of playing Arlecchino a lot better than playing the Lover. I’ve been having more fun with it. I’m not sure if it’s the character or the process that’s just...