Northanger Abbey is by far an interesting piece of work. The play was originally written by Jane Austin, and the piece we are working on was adapted by Scott Mackenzie. One of the things I like about this play is all the different ways you can take what was written. There is always more than one way of interpreting a piece of literature and that is what makes a play so much more interesting. For once in my theater career, we can go and ask the “playwright” what he meant when we are reading lines with the actors.
I am one of the assistant stage managers on the play and I enjoy watching the growth of each individual actor on stage. Working behind the scenes as a stage manager or crew member shows me more of the show than being in the show. I get to see the actors read their lines together as a complete cast, struggle to get blocking and say lines at the same time and finally watch them perform a splendid show they worked so hard to perfect. This show has shown me that dialects can be fun but the hardest thing to ever learn. The next part of dialect that is problematic is learning to simultaneously speak in a dialect, say the correct line, remember blocking and remember all the dance moves. I applaud the people who can get on stage and do this because I can’t.
I also enjoy the jokes and little comments that are meant to keep everybody from breaking down into tears from frustration and stress. The fact that this cast is doing all they can to keep each other from being an emotional wreck is inspiring to all in the world. I’ve noticed that we, as stage managers, do the same thing by making fun of each other and keeping a running list of all the crazy comments made throughout the play. I am really enjoying myself and wonder what is to come next.