Two views on a first rehearsal

It’s upon us! TimeLine’s 13th season got underway when rehearsals for All My Sons started two days ago, on Monday, July 13. As is usually the case at TimeLine first rehearsals, the full cast, production team, staff, Company and Board members gathered to get things started. Also in the room: 5 of TimeLine’s summer interns! Read what two of them had to say about the night …

When I arrived at the first rehearsal of “All My Sons,” I knew that I was going to be treated with a special evening.  There was food, drinks and the enjoyable company of TimeLine staff and guests. During the evening, it became obvious that the first rehearsal is more than just a reading. It is a TimeLine tradition — a tradition that provides a feeling of welcome. It is also a moment to inspire one another in hopes that the production of “All My Sons” reaches its true potential.

When I heard the opening speeches of Artistic Director PJ Powers and director Kimberly Senior, I was left with a positive outlook. Both PJ and Kimberly read quotes from President Obama’s inauguration speech. PJ stated that “For everywhere we look, there is work to be done.” The TimeLine staff knows this — that is why they continue to make sure their work is done well in order to feed TimeLine’s successful growth.

Kimberly stated that “our power grows through its prudent use.”  The reason that TimeLine has had such great success over the past 10 years is because they are knowledgeable about the work they do. Kimberly talked about how she has always wanted to direct “All My Sons” and it makes her “want to dance” with excitement because she finally has the opportunity to do so.

After these motivating speeches, the group was also treated with presentations from the lighting, scenic, sound and costume designers. It was interesting to see and hear what plans they had for the production. In the end, I found that all the designers had one thing in common; they know the play well and already have created detailed designs for the show.

The reading of the play came soon after. I sat in the audience and looked at the stage that was occupied with a long table surrounded with the actors of the play. I knew it was just a reading, but I felt that I was watching a performance! Each actor on stage put their full effort into reading their part. The cast has such amazing chemistry that there is no denying that “All My Sons” is going to be a great production.

TimeLine is on its way to launching its 2009-10 season and with the commitment I saw at the first rehearsal, prepare to be astonished.

— Raquel Mendoza, Marketing/Communications Intern

"All My Sons" first rehearsal on Monday, July 13, 2009
“All My Sons” first rehearsal on Monday, July 13, 2009

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I hurriedly sorted plastic utensils into three cups on a table that would become engulfed by a motley potluck of culinary delights fit only for the appetite of an enthusiastic cast, crew and company that would assemble at TimeLine later that evening.  Perhaps only stronger than the eagerness toward the buffet table was the cast of “All My Sons” and their hunger and energy toward Arthur Miller’s words during the production’s first rehearsal and script read-through Monday night.

As the plates of pita bread and buckets of chicken wings began to reveal more plastic than protein, the cast chock-full of seasoned stage veterans took their seats, and we were greeted by the words of PJ Powers, doubling as Artistic Director at TimeLine and a pivotal member of the “All My Sons” cast.  Both he and director Kimberly Senior hearkened to the words of President Barack Obama in his inaugural address during their opening comments, each remarking on the significance of the values on which America stands in relation to the values on which families are constituted.

In a time when my generation is being looked at as one that has the definitive capability to change the shape of our country, a tangible power and imperative responsibility is at our fingertips more than ever before. Our country, wrought with new beginnings and undergoing the effects of a re-definition of patriotism, is really controlled by the decisions of its citizens and their tenacity toward its conservation.  It is fitting then, that this play, a question of how much will be sacrificed of your country and others in order to protect yourself, is incredibly ironic and resounding at this specific time.  Never have Miller’s observations rang so true and with so much clarity for me.

It begs the answer to the question: What morals have changed in terms of loyalty to our country over the years? And can this idea of commitment to family on a microcosmic scale — which is so prominent in Miller’s characters — be translated into the larger picture of our current nation as a family?

My only hope is that the run of “All My Sons” will feed an audience looking to satisfy its thirst for reassurance toward our uncertain destiny as a “People” and as people, and that it will find the humanity in the questions — and answers — which lead us to that end.

In the meantime, as President Obama rightly puts it: “there is work to be done.”

— Neala Barron, Artistic Intern

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