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January 19, 2010 / lotcchicago

Mythology and Electricity

by Mary Rose O’Connor

Rehearsal room: Monday night.

Cast members Alyse Kittner, Bobby Libby, stage manager Christina Dougherty and I work through what I consider to be the core or the seed of Song For a Future Generation, a three minute monologue about the life, death and history of an entire race of people. Pretty heavy for a futuristic dance party in outer space, huh?

The story of this monologue is a poetic mixture of mythology and science, ultimately the central theme of this play: destruction is the result of our obsession with creation. People inevitably lose themselves or destroy themselves trying to capture something that came very naturally to start. In Song For a Future Generation, everyone’s chasing to find their own identity, or racing against time get back to “the beginning.” A recurring question throughout this play is “If you don’t know where you’re from, how do you know who you are?”

So here we are, working line by line, trying to understand this story. And as much as this hip, dance play is about the future, we are spending the majority of our evening talking about Shakespeare and Greek mythology. As a huge nerd, these are my favorite rehearsals. It’s also in keeping with the theme of our evening that we, as theatre folk, have to go back to the beginning as well. EVERYTHING MAKES SENSE HERE.

Prometheus stealing fire.

Like pretty much everyone in theatre, I work a monotonous office job, plugging numbers into a computer screen. Coming to rehearsal is my livelihood. Not only is this one of the funniest groups of people I’ve ever met, but it’s incredibly refreshing to be intellectually stimulated by having these conversations. I get a jolt of energy every time I walk into a room with these people, and it’s electric. You can feel it. Everyone kind of feeds off each other’s positivity and creates this world that I’ve never really seen so clearly in other rehearsal processes. It truly gives this space play, which intellectually talks about science vs. human connection, a real beating heart.

So what next? Our first runthrough tonight, and this weekend, going back to the beginning: the script. Playwright Joe Tracz is coming to work with us on this exciting adventure and make sure we’re all on the same page (bad pun).

So, are you intrigued by any of this? Are you itching to unleash your inner nerd and also rock out to some 80s new wave? Come see Song For a Future Generation.



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