So, just in case you were worried that you might have a hard time convincing your friends who prefer action-adventure stories to come see a sensitive play about the aftermath of the death of a parent, have I got news for you...there are fisticuffs in GRACELAND (of course, I'm not going to reveal the who, what, when, or where... but I will tease you with the knowledge that 4 of the 5 characters are involved, in addition to a basket of fruit)!
Today we were visited by our fight director Mark Olsen. Mark and Henry met a few years back working on a show at Juilliard. Mark and the cast had a wonderful time playing around and creating a believable fight sequence that will read as spontaneous and messy, but be safe and repeatable. On the highbrow (fancy theater-speak) end of things, I was struck by the way Mark approached the creation of the fight choreography in very Stanislavskian terms: the moves in the fight were directly tied to the characters objectives and the obstacles standing in their way. On the lowbrow (less pretentious) side, it also dawned on me that being a fight director ought to be every 8 year old boy/tom-boy's dream job! You get paid to come into the room and show people wrestle, knock each other around, bump into furniture, jump over couches, break things... Mark, Henry, and the actors approached the work with a great sense of play. Definitely shaping up to be one of the most exciting moments in the play!
Jenny Mercein is the Assistant Director for Graceland.