Fresh Eyes on We Are Proud, 4th Installment

FE trio

Kate Duffly, Roberta Hunte and Lesli Mones
Owen Carey

Fresh Eyes observers Lesli Mones and Roberta Hunte sat in on a rehearsal this past Sunday to see a run through. Actually, at this point, run throughs are better known as stumble throughs. Since beginning rehearsal (only two weeks ago) the actors have absorbed a huge amount of information – ideas, lines, staging, ideas, music, ideas! – which has not yet coalesced into a smooth whole.  Sunday was their first opportunity to string together everything they’ve worked on so far and get a sense of the entire play.

 Here are Roberta's observations:

  • Watching the cast improve the closing scene.
  • Neat to watch people’s process. Watching the actors develop the scene is inspiring. The use of sounds to accentuate elements of the script are very helpful.
  • Kevin’s direction allows the actors to develop material and to interject their ideas into the work. It is very dynamic to watch this ensemble come together.
  • This play covers colonialism, and brings up the legacies of oppression with the present.
  • As a black person watching this play I am uncomfortable. It speaks from a radical black political stance that asks us to confront the legacies of our racial past and how they operate in the present. It challenges the comfort of assimilation. This play is highly provocative. Elements of it are very raw. This is a timely play and offers a brilliant social critique. This play does what good theater is supposed to do. It inspires, and illuminates the present and the past.
  • No one is neutral in watching this piece.
  • My admiration for all of the people involved in this project is immense. 
  • The use of humor is brilliant. It offers a way to enter this play. The storytelling techniques here are incredibly useful. 

And Lesli’s:

  • I am blown away by the chemistry of the actors!!!!!!! Each person just seems to fit their role and character so beautifully. And in that the interaction between characters feels incredibly natural, fluid and real—so much so that I really had trouble at times discerning what was actually happening on stage: I couldn’t tell if the actors were interacting as in characters in the play or it was just a spontaneous moment in the rehearsal process. I was surprised by this. I keep thinking to myself …wait…oh…wait- what’s happening??
  • The emotional quality that each character brings to the topics of sexism and racism are filled with nuance in a way that makes everything feeling so authentic-the body language, the subtle and not so subtle facial expressions-perfect. It’s so different from a lot of shit that seems so on the nose and over-stated.
  • Although I didn’t see the whole run through, I was deeply touched and really excited for what’s to come. 

We hope you're enjoying these glimpses into the rehearsal process!