“Halt! An audience!”
Those are the first words of The Player as he and his troupe enter into the world of the title characters of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead,” the break-through work of the pre-eminent British playwright Tom Stoppard. Being the consummate actor, his actions (and even his existence) are only viable when someone else is watching. An actor myself, I understand his desire to be witnessed, heard, and understood – to seek that laugh from the dark auditorium and get it. The inherent function of the arts as communication – of ideas, of values, of emotion – is, to my biased eyes, nowhere as overt as in the theatre, where a living person is there on stage in front of us, moving and speaking as we do (or don’t) and persuading us to believe in his reality.
My name is Hilary Kissinger, and I’m a senior theatre major here at Lehigh University. And for the past several months I’ve worn not the actor’s hat but the director’s as I’ve researched, cast, rehearsed and collaborated on the theatre department production of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.” We have only three short weeks left until the play opens on March 27th, but the process is hardly becoming routine. Every night we make discoveries in rehearsal, designers have new ideas, we figure something out or reveal a new problem to solve. I hope in my following posts for this blog to invite you into this process, be you a person of the theatre or not. I’ll revisit the landmarks of my journey up to now (a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, etc.) and share my current day-to-day work (and struggles) as we make our way toward opening night.
I hope my posts are interesting to read and can lend whatever insight I have to offer into the sometimes vaguely perceived role of directing. It has been an intensely challenging and riotously fun experience thus far.