Tanya has been out of the country for a month now. Without a director, we can't make any real progress on the play. At first we had rehearsals under the assistant director, and our lead actress wasn't taking them seriously. Then we took a three-week break for Tanya to get back.
Tanya is in South Africa. No one (the assistant director included) seems to have any idea what she's doing there. She's not South African, but she lived there for a while so she has friends there. That still doesn't explain what was so important that she'd leave us for it for so long.
We presently have no actor playing Cornelius. While I was in America, David, who was going to play the part and who I was enjoying working with, got a hernia. It's not an emergency, so the hospital hasn't scheduled his surgery yet. But the surgery needs to be done, and until it is he can't strain himself in any way. That means he's out, and we have no replacement. My friend Moshe expressed an interest in trying out for the part, but then he got in to this training program for a computer job and now he doesn't have the time. The only other person who's expressed interest so far is someone who's not available on Wednesdays, which many of our rehearsals are on.
But we don't even know if he'd be appropriate for the part, because there have yet to be any sort of auditions for the part. David got in on the strength of his audition months ago, I doubt Tanya even considered anyone else. And Tanya's not back yet. She was supposed to be here yesterday. No one seems to know why she's not. Now she says she'll be here on Thursday. She'd better be.
There's also an issue with the character of Ermengarde. There was a lovely girl playing her, and then she had trouble with her travel visa so she's out. A girl I know took over, and then she joined a production of Annie which happens to have a performance on the same night as one of ours. Tanya knew about this before she left, but she didn't find anyone else. So we may or may not have an Ermengarde, and there isn't anyone who can fix this situation except for a lady who is in South Africa right now.
I didn't realize she wasn't going to be here, so I took today's rehearsal seriously. We were supposed to get off book in the three-week break, so I basically did. There are many parts I'm not comfortable with yet, and I'd need to stumble through those parts a bit, but I do basically know all my lines. The rehearsal was called for 7:30 in the place where we had the callbacks, so I printed out a map of the place for reference (just to be sure I'd get to the right place) and left the house at 5:30. I got there a few minutes late.
There was no one there except me and three other actors. Even the assistant director hadn't gotten there yet. And when she did, she said that no one else would be coming. Everyone had some convenient excuse to not be there.
We waited around until a little past 8:00. I played piano in the meantime; it was horribly out of tune, and there wasn't much I could do with it. Then someone named Rachel showed up, who is apparently Tanya's boss. In retrospect I'm not sure why she was there; there's not much she could have said to explain what was going on because she herself didn't seem to understand what was going on. But we sat around and talked about the state of the play, and then since we were there we did the parts of the play that we could.
Rachel told me I flail my arms around too much as Ambrose. I'll listen to what she's saying, but this is getting annoying. When I worked with Tanya she said to move around less with my lower body. So all the energy that I wanted Ambrose to have, that was all going into his arms. Now I'm finding out that he shouldn't have so much energy. I'm trying to figure out who this character is, I really am, but these reactions just aren't making sense to me. I'm afraid the character is going to end up just standing there motionless like a corpse, and nothing I want to express about the character is going to come across at all.
And Barnaby, no one is complaining about. I'm really not sure about what I'm doing with Barnaby, but no one's saying a thing. It could be because I've got it, so no one bothers. More likely it's because I'm doing such an awful job that people are worried they'll hurt my feelings. Normal people are so irritating.
The play goes on at the beginning of March. A month and a half, that's the time we've got. Which might be enough for some plays, but this is a crazy play and it really needs more time. It looked like we had more time, and then Tanya had to go to South Africa. We have no Cornelius, we may or may not have an Ermengarde, and that's not even getting to all the craziness of act 4 which we haven't even begun to plan yet but only exists as a vague concept in Tanya's head. And sure, it's a good concept, but still!
I feel certain that there's a great play to be made here. I'm less certain that we're making that play.