When something old is still brand new (Cory)

Parag, the only actor who’s reprising his role (Wolfgang) in Pittsburgh, puzzles over a line. The line hasn’t changed since Augsburg, but the context has. “So why do I start telling my story to these people right now?”

“Why don’t we just do what we did in Augsburg?” Vinz suggests. “Have Fred take your camera and start filming you?”

Parag, frustrated, shakes his head. “That worked for the old Wolfgang, but this Wolfgang wouldn’t stand for it. If Fred took my camera right now, I’d punch him in the face.”

As Timo, Vinz often used to say he couldn’t get Basti’s line readings out of his head. The atmosphere of version 1 still haunts version 2, despite how different they are. And everyone keeps calling Christina Amy.

It’s great to have Lily and Martel, who can attack the script with complete freshness. To a certain extent, Eva B. has less of these roadblocks than Christina, Parag, and Vinz, because her involvement in the Augsburg project was limited. Ultimately, this makes the collection of approaches to the script all the more complex.

It is a difficult play. We all struggle with it. It is the kind of play where knowing the meaning of a line or knowing what it all adds up to in the end doesn’t necessarily mean you know how to say the line or how to make your way to the end. It is extremely conceptual. Some of the actors fight against the meaning of the play. I hope that I don’t. My belief is that a brand-new play is best served by faithfulness to authorial intent and to the text. Ignore that, and your production only muddies the waters for revision, clouding perspective on where the weaknesses and strengths of the script may be.

Maybe we are not finding the right balance between abstraction and reality. There is so much of the script that is not action/reaction. But there is a lot that is. Sometimes the actors can approach the script linearly. At other times, they feel like they have to say lines practically without motivation, just because “they (the lines) are there.” This mixture is hard to navigate.


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