Ink Diaries: The Muddle

I’m in The Muddle.

No, I’m not talking about mixing ingredients into a cocktail. I’m talking about preparing for rehearsal. Muddling typically implies confusing or mixing things up into a bit of disorder. And that’s exactly where I am in process as we’re about 5 weeks out from starting rehearsals for James Graham’s Ink at Playhouse on the Square. So, it’s time to pick up my pace on preparation. That means reading the play more times than any play should be read, making notes and typically reviewing research. It’s a bit different for this production. Because timing.

We actually began work on this production in 2020 and it has been on again/off again due to the pandemic. So a lot of the research gathering took place back in 2020. So instead of hunting and gathering I’m actually in more of a reviewing mode. Although I still keep finding new things and adding them to the muddle.

I call this phase of my preparation The Muddle because as I’m moving towards making decisions that will set us on course I still have the liberty of changing that course. I frequently do as I bounce ideas off of ideas to see what sticks. It’s a bit of muddling about because at this point almost anything is fair game and rhyme doesn’t necessarily have to follow reason. Out of disorder eventually comes order.

But it’s not all a blank slate. We’re in the design process and we’re mostly cast (still two roles to go) so some decisions are being made or have been made. But that’s actually when The Muddle gets the most intriguing. Decisions are choices and choices eliminate other choices and open up others. And when I find myself backed into a corner there’s either an undiscovered way out, or it’s time to revisit that choice.

Reading the play with certain choices in mind opens it up as it closes it down. And if you think that statement is contradictory or doesn’t make sense, welcome to The Muddle.

Author: Warner Crocker

I stumble through life as a theatre director and playwright as well as a gadget geek...commenting along the way. Every day I learn something new is a good day, so I share what I find exciting, new, stupid and often worthwhile.

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