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The Great Divide - Day 7

One week into rehearsal, and I feel as if I've lived with this play for months. Tonight, er, last night? It's late. Anyway, tonight I was talking with some friends after The Shakespeare Forum (which you should come to, btw) about how much I love this play and how much it scares me at the same time. I am drawn to this role and this play because it is challenging.. that risk and complexity is exciting. I do a lot of classical theatre but The Great Divide is an interesting piece because it toes the line between classical and contemporary. As Moody was a contemporary of O'Neill's, the language is certainly heightened, but the cadence is modern. Moody was also a poet so there's no denying that the text is beautiful. The Shakespeare nerd in me finds immense pleasure in words, so I'm pleased as punch to speak these lines.

The Great Divide is structured as a three-act play. Each act is set in one location and there are a few french scenes in each, but the show is not longer than two hours, give or take ten minutes. We are structuring it with only one intermission for performance purposes, with Acts I and II creating our first act and Act III, our second act. Today we ran Act I only and it never fails to amaze me how liberating the first day of script-lessness feels. I have two hands! I can get close to people! I know what I'm saying! It also reveals gaping holes and awkward moments, which are fun learning experiences as well.
Scene from "The Great Divide"
Things on my mind: (I = Ruth)

The Great Arizona Desert - the vastness of the terrain vs. the claustrophobia of Massachusetts society. My excitement at the beginning of the play is due, in part, to the freedom I feel out here .. the limitless possibilities.. the new adventures. Image of a bird being released from a cage comes to mind. Vulnerable.

"Youthful Optimism" - I am 19, in a time when people only lived to be about 50. .. but I am young enough to still be of the mind that life holds so many opportunities. I am excited about the ranch and our business prospects.. at the same time I am yearning for the man of my dreams. This mentality at the top is so important for the overall journey.

In a letter to his wife, Harriet, Moody wrote, "There is no such thing as absolute truth, but that truth depends entirely upon the actual working values or 'fruits of life', of any given proposition." There is no quote that is more appropriate for the relationship between myself and Ghent. I fear society's judgement of our relationship and that stunts the growth of our love for so long. But no one knows the truth of our hearts but us. This is scary. Scary, scary, scary.

Suggested reading, by my dear friend Marianna Caldwell: Double Falsehood by Shakespeare (?)

Tomorrow's Play: As Bees in Honey Drown by Douglas Carter Beane

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