Every few months, we get to start again. A new show. Another first rehearsal. A new group of people coming together at TimeLine to make new magic on stage.
For The Farnsworth Invention, the group is really a crowd! This show has a lot of actors and a big design/production team. And on Monday, March 1, we got together for the first time to meet each other, hear about (and see) the incredible work the design and directing teams have been doing over the past few months, and listen to a first read-through of this Aaron Sorkin script. It was quite a night — it always is — and an inspiring start to a rehearsal process that will last just six (short!) weeks until the opening of The Farnsworth Invention on Saturday, April 17.
My job at first rehearsal is to take some pictures. Get “behind-the-scenes” shots of the actors and team as they launch the process. We use the pictures here on the blog, in Backstory and often in videos, etc. Sometimes I wish I could just listen to the play, but usually I end up having a good time really watching everyone through the viewfinder, trying to catch interesting moments and interactions during the reading. It can be tough — they spend a lot of time, you know, looking down and reading, but it’s become a game for me to try to catch the many moments when actors look up and engage with each other in ways that are just glimmers of how these relationships will ultimately come together on stage. Frankly, I’m amazed that the actors and others involved in the first read-through aren’t completely distracted by the sound of my camera’s shutter! But it’s a testament to them that they are so engrossed in the story and what they are doing that usually I hear that mostly no one has noticed me. Considering that on Monday night I took over 325 photos, that’s a very good thing.
I’ve narrowed down my Farnsworth collection to a couple dozen photos to share with you now. Pictured are (in order of first appearance — although I didn’t identify everyone in the full-room photos — and people listed are cast members unless otherwise noted): Nick Bowling (director), Bridget Dehl (assistant director), Maren Robinson (dramaturg), Tom McElroy, Ana Espinosa (stage manager), Rob Fagin, Josh Altman (assistant stage manager), Zach Gray, Larry Baldacci, Lindsey Pate (costume designer), Justine C. Turner, Mike Tutaj (projections designer), Sean Patrick Fawcett, Bridget Pechman, Paul Dunckel, Eliza Stoughton, Bill McGough, Zach Kenney, Jamie Vann, PJ Powers, Maris Hudson, Cheney Tardio and Jeremy Glickstein.