Dear Kitty 2.0,
Today we met our lovely Miep and Mr. Krahler! AND blocked through all of Act I! Well, sort of blocked through; getting through the scenes while occasionally stopping to ask for help with lines, re-working staging, and trying to keep track of props and costume changes is a lot like rubbing your tummy and patting your head. But! We prevailed! And our new castmates were very brave, jumping right into the action. And onto working through Act II tomorrow! Huzzah!
Some of my favorite scenes in Act I are those with Peter. Anne is a real pest. That incessant needling is just downright delicious to play; I have a little brother [he’s a college sophomore now, so not so little] but I’m definitely channeling some of his then thirteen-year-old energy. He could get under my skin like *that*. Ari (Peter), Lauren (Margot), and I are all in our twenties, but often play teenagers... and I think part of the fun of this play for us is that we have to grow and mature throughout the course of the evening. This is probably most true for Anne-- at the top of Act II, there’s been almost a year that’s gone by and she’s matured emotionally as well as physically. I have to start exploring how I can track and show this progression in my physicality and tone of voice...
Ah yes, the Middle School days weren’t my finest, but it sure is fun to get to play them from a safe distance. Don’t worry, kids! Your teenage years could be worse! You could be trapped living in the same room as your parents, like my goody-two-shoes sister, Margot. Oof.
That said, Gerald reminded me tonight that Anne isn’t a brat by any means. It’s so easy to fall into the nanny-nanny-boo-boo! sort of teasing and constant running commentary about every little thing in the Annex-- and certainly her diary provides plenty of fodder for laughs-- but most of her actions, and her diary itself, are to “bring enjoyment to all people.” So I’ve got to keep myself in check: are my (Anne’s) actions coming from a place of good intentions? Of honest-to-goodness curiosity?
I also enjoyed blocking through the Hanukkah scene tonight. We had a good laugh when the menorah was first revealed; Margot says, “Oh what a beautiful menorah!” but our little prop menorah looks like a couple of two-by-fours with some candles jammed in it. Steve, who plays Mr. Van Daan retorted, “Why thank you, I made it out of a coffin!” Let’s just say it’s not going to be a family heirloom anytime soon. (But hey-- props, even ugly props, are far and beyond better than no props at all, folks.)
Off to meet my darling “sister” Lauren for some fro-yo. We live in the same ‘hood! I see ridiculously adorable sleepovers in our future.