Brenna MacCrimmon - Bir Ah Çektim

The GoodheART Report Crossing Rehearsal Diary: Week 1

Nina Goodheart, rehearsal assistant and gap year intern, brings you a progress report on rehearsals for Crossing: A New American Opera written by Matthew Aucoin and directed by Diane Paulus.

Crossing has officially begun! Here are some highlights from our first week of rehearsal in New York City.

  • Our first sing-through of the opera, bright and early at 10AM. It was thrilling to hear Matt’s incredible score sung with such force and enthusiasm (especially that early in the morning!).
  • Choreographer Jill Johnson leading a movement workshop that allowed the ensemble to dive into the physicality of their characters. Watching the performers “try on” their war wounds, from a damaged ear to two amputated legs, was fascinating.
  • Receiving character dossiers compiled by our stalwart dramaturgs Julia Bumke and Brenna Nicely and our assistant director Allegra Libonati. Each ensemble member has been assigned a very specific injury and biography, which they will continue to develop throughout the rehearsal process.
  • Intensive music rehearsals led by Matt, who is performing quadruple duty on this show as composer, orchestrator, music director, and conductor.
  • Lovely weather to grace our first few days in New York. The dramaturgs and rehearsal assistants took full advantage of the sun on Thursday by eating a picnic lunch outside Lincoln Center.
  • Character presentations, a classic Diane Paulus exercise. Each cast member presented a 5-minute solo presentation with very specific rules (that they were encouraged to break). The presentations were compelling, amusing, poignant, even devastating – and, of course, incredibly enlightening for cast and creative alike.
  • Rod Gilfry, who plays Walt Whitman, finishing his character presentation by initiating a group hug. 
  • Diane wrapping up character presentations with a quote from André Gide: “Please do not understand me too quickly.” She encouraged the cast to take their time getting to know their soldier personas. 
  • Watching Rod and Alexander Lewis (who plays John Wormley) dig into their characters’ motivations and talk about their ideas with Diane.
  • Diane drawing a parallel between Walt Whitman and Griffin Matthews from Witness Uganda, showing that both seem to be volunteering (whether in the Civil War or in Uganda) in order to escape from something else – perhaps their sexuality.

Check back soon for another update!

Nina Goodheart is a full-time artistic intern, blogger, and rehearsal assistant to the director for Crossing at the American Repertory Theater. On her way to rehearsal this week, she passed Bernadette Peters on the street but was too stunned to say hello. 

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okay so I was at the grocery store with my mom but I was waiting by the entrance for her to pay and i was wearing a tank top that showed a lil bit of cleavage.

so this older guy walks in, looks me up and down and tells me that my shirt is a problem because someone would get the “wrong kind of idea of what kind of girl you are”

and I looked at him and said, fairly loudly, “I think the actual problem is you sexualizing a 14 year old girl”

and this guy who had been restocking stuff and looked like he was going to say something to the guy before I did said “hey, dude. do you need some ice for that burn? because I have some frozen peas here”

I just want to know how Sam got Rowena to meet him there

Like did he call Crowley up like “Yo dude, don’t ask me why, but I need your mom’s number, aight? Or can you just pass the message on? Yeah k, thanks man”


The Times Talk with Downton Abbey

Don’t miss the behind–the–scenes and on–screen talent of “Downton Abbey,” the beloved story of the Crawley family and those who serve them. Before the show’s sixth and final season airs, hear “Downton Abbey” creator–writer Julian Fellowes, executive producer Gareth Neame, Jim Carter, who plays Carson, and Phyllis Logan, who plays Mrs. Hughes, in conversation with New York Times London–based writer Matt Wolf.

brenna-louise Phyllis is going to be there!

Looks like they record these!

brenna.img:  i’ve been really bummed about leaving london; i’ve fallen in love with this city but i met one of my absolute favorite people in this universe on my last night, so i think i’m okay with going home! thank you @fakeliampayne for being such an absolute sweetheart :)