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With the upcoming production of The Conference of the Birds on the horizon, actor Jay Dunn was kind enough to agree to write a series of blog posts throughout the rehearsal process to give our readers a bit of a behind-the-scenes look into the mounting of this imaginative and creative production. The following, is Jay’s first entry taken after our first rehearsal last week:

OK people. Are you ready for this? We are halfway through our first day of The Conference of the Birds (meaning we have seen all designer presentations, heard from director Aaron Posner and have just finished our first read-through) and already my expectations for the quality and originality of this production are through the roof. This is the kind of process that makes doing everything an actor at some point has to do — every Christmas Carol production, every temp job, every audition — worth it.

Some stage movement during rehearsal

To begin, our designers are, simply, an inspiration. Right from the get-go, their visions for the set, costumes, lights, music…My god, the music. Tom Teasely is clearly a fanatic of sorts (in the best sense of the word) about what he does and his energy is infectious (again, in the best sense of the word). I think he even pulled a few tears from some of us during his demonstration. The design team is so strong that I’ll be focusing on an individual designer in each future blog post. So, in summary, we the actors are sitting on a tidal wave of design awesomeness. On to our director, Aaron Posner. Out of fear that he may actually read this at some point, I will try to tone down my effusiveness.

Set Design, Meghan Raham

Here’s why I love working with Aaron. Right from the start he sets a tone of curiosity, humbleness, and above all, passion for the work. This is not your average “play” play. Nor will it be your average process. Our end product will be forged in the spirit of collaboration, in bodies moving on stage and exchanging ideas, in asking hard questions and making deep personal connections through a tough and slippery story. We won’t know what the end looks like for a while, but Aaron’s excitement is now our excitement and, from what I can see, our ensemble of designers, staff, and actors are all on board for what promises to be a wild, incredibly rewarding ride. See you at the finish line!

And at the next blog post…