American Stages 2018/19 ASFWD Apprentices are preparing to present THE GAP & THE GLUE – an original work which they have written, produced, and will perform together. Acting & Production Apprentice Kaylie Horowitz gives a behind-the-scenes look at the creative process of this collaborative piece. THE GAP & THE GLUE will follow select performances of FUN HOME beginning July 31.
By Kaylie Horowitz
July 19, 2019
Okay, honest question time: Is it normal to feel so surprised and shocked when a deadline rolls around because it always felt so far away until suddenly it feels like it’s happening tomorrow… or is that just me? Not only am I still trying to wrap my head around the idea that in a matter of months, I will no longer be an apprentice at American Stage (cue panicked screaming), but what’s even crazier is that our original show, The Gap and The Glue, opens at the end of this month! That means that from this point until the 31st, my fellow apprentices and I will have fully memorized a new original script, staged an entire 40 minute production, gone into an entire tech process, and performed for a real live preview audience. Yikes.
But okay, maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. Sure it feels terrifying and nerve-wracking to finally come to this place of showing everyone the kind of work we’re capable of and wanted to make, but it’s also incredibly exciting! Finally this process that we started at the beginning of 2019 is about to come to fruition and we can share something with you all that we are incredibly proud of. So what all needs to go into that process? Well, I’m glad you asked…
It all starts with a conversation. Way back in January, all of us apprentices came together (with the help of the fabulously amazing Emerging Arts Leader Fellow & former Apprentice Sadie Lockhart), and started just talking about the things that we felt were important at the moment. Things we felt strongly about. Things lots of people around us felt strongly about. Things that we felt deserved to be discussed. It felt more like friends coming together, just talking about the world and what we felt could be done better, as opposed to a rigid ‘we need to know what to write about’ brainstorm. Eventually, with all of our combined ideas we landed on the concept of “Listening”, the word that would shape the structure of our work and serve as our thread tying all of the ideas here together.
The hard part was not “Well what could we write about?” but instead was “Oh jeez, how are we gonna write about this?” While it was hard to just initially put the words on paper, the harder part was coming to the agreement that these are the words we’re keeping. We are happy with these words. We like these words, and maybe now we can work on a different place- Aaaaaannnddd we’re rewriting the words again. I don’t know how many of you out there have ever written a play before, or a script, a book, a story, or maybe you’re just the kind of person who rewrote pages of their reports and essays to make them more exciting, but I feel like rewrites will be my demise as a writer and collaborator. Not because they’re boring or anything like that, but because every time we revisited a scene we found new words and new ways to make it better and to make the points clearer. And as much as I think that speaks to the fact I keep trying to be a perfectionist and need to learn to let some little things go, it reveals a lot more about this amazing group of people I’ve been able to collaborate and devise with. Having a team who is always trying to see new angles of our characters, and better ways to express the ideas of our story is an incredible gift to have. I’m proud to say that after 9 drafts (for now), we have crafted a script that all of us are invested in, and we hope you will be too.
From there, our process has been an interesting cycle of write, stage, change, repeat. It’s similar to preparing a typical staged production, but at the same time when we start blocking out scenes, suddenly there’s a moment of revelation along the lines of “Oh that’s why this doesn’t feel accurate! This is the direction we need to go.” or, of course, notes would come in and we’d rewrite and reshape. I’d tell you more about how those moments have happened, but why would I want to spoil the surprise? We’re in the final countdown of our rehearsals, so I’ll save the details of the current script for you to come see.
But perhaps you haven’t seen what’s been going on behind the scenes in the worlds of marketing and technical production. WHEN you come see The Gap and The Glue, you’ll notice that each one of us apprentices has taken on designing/aiding design for different elements in the production, from costumes, to sound, and everything in between. Not to mention the small group of us who have gone through the process of designing, drafting and redrafting all the marketing materials you have seen digitally and in print. For those of us accustomed to the onstage and backstage work, it was a whole new experience to work on the promotion for our show! Filming and editing trailers, creating poster designs, and learning how to draft a press release were all things I was glad I got to be a part of and create during this process.
And as much as I’d love to tell you more, I feel like there’s not a lot left to tell without giving away all the best parts. So until next time, I’ll leave you with all the useful information you might need! See you then!
THE GAP AND THE GLUE
July 31 – August 16
Select Nights After Performances of FUN HOME