Another interesting thing I noticed today — it was in evidence yesterday as well, but I failed to register it consciously until today — is how encompassing Keira Naughton’s view of the stage is. I mean “view” literally. Spatially. She appears to regard the area within the proscenium’s borders as a canvas. The challenge facing her in this play is therefore especially difficult, because she has only one live body at her disposal with which to fill all that space.
Her solution is to get Jim moving. Not for some arbitrary notion of action as an end in itself, but for the territorial purpose of using the area allotted to her. And — as she is clearly aware — doing so has dramatic ramifications, and raises the dramatic stakes. Jim’s relationship with the comatose body on the hospital bed to whom he is ostensibly addressing his monologue changes as his position onstage changes. He gets close, he backs off, he goes to a wall and gazes out a window, and all this movement, all this occupation of different regions, give his words a different coloration.
It’s an aspect of stagecraft I’ve never much concerned myself with. But Keira is teaching me to pay attention to it.
Tags: Berkshire Theater Festival Cedars James Naughton Keira Naughton play rehearsals