4 Aug

On Sunday, July 31, the designers and Cornerstone team members were treated to the first run-through of the entire play, A Man Comes to Fowler.  Director Laurie Woolery had warned the cast and audience alike that this would be more like a “stumble-through,” since it was the cast’s first attempt to perform without stopping, but there was no need to manage our expectations.  It was quite exciting to see this play take shape after little more than a week’s worth of rehearsals.

Before we began, set and puppet designer Lynn Jeffries (assisted by Birdie and Amy) did a show and tell of some of the puppet scenes for the cast and crew. Although we were watching a modified version of the projection effects, the intricate designs of antique cars, historic homes, and whimsical storytelling devices were vibrantly clear.  I’m anticipating that the shadow puppets will be one of the highlights of the production.

The cast is already performing like a well-established ensemble, evident in moments of singing from the choir and the entire company, as well as a rhythmic and dance-like sequence of grape harvesting that accompanies a poem by Jose Montoya. The play tells the history of Fowler and a stranger’s encounter with the town. There were moments of sheer fun and joy, as well as poignant scenes, particularly those recounting the internment of Fowler’s Japanese-Americans during WWII. Many in the cast and crew were moved by the rehearsal, and we’re all excited to see the play develop in the coming week as we further work each scene and begin adding production elements like costumes, sound, and lights.



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