A Playwright’s Perspective

Live Girls! asked Pamela Hobart Carter, author of The Ventriloquist (Quickies 11) to tell us about her experience being involved in the rehearsal process. Here is what she said:

First, Elena, the director of The Ventriloquist, and I met for tea to talk about the script. She had a list of questions and suggestions that she posed in an attentive and focused way. I arrived home certain that I had a director who understood my script better than I did. Each rehearsal reinforces that impression. When the cast gathered, Elena explained aspects of the story that I think I may have intended, perhaps, unconsciously, but Elena has made them real and important to the characters. She applies to my script rules I that skipped out of ignorance. I watch the actors live by them and the play improves. With LiveGirls! dropping its Ballard location, and finding rehearsal spots elsewhere, The Ventriloquist has landed at the school where I teach. It’s a great excuse for me to be present during the process, (where everyone has made me welcome, regardless, but I do have to unlock the door.) So I have been listening to read-throughs and watching some initial blocking and acting moments. I added some lines for clarification. We’ve run over ten minutes. I’ve cut some lines for time. I cut the easy ones. But I knew what to cut with this rewrite-retweak because of the rehearsals, because I am hearing the places where the actors are working extra. I may have to cut some hard ones. For that, I may need to attend another rehearsal.