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ROBERT WILSON, DIRECTOR (Commentary by Robert Wilson on Alcestis will be interspersed throughout the rest of the casebook, appearing In gray.) This Isn't the first time I've worked with a classic text. Medea was the first. I could see the mistakes I'd made in Medea, things I didn't like.I didn't like the question-answer situtation, Joe says this and Sue says this. In these Greek plays you have a Ping-Pong match, It's question-enswer, questionanswer .It's Medea-Jason, Medea-Messenger... Itgets boringafter a while. And I thought, ifI can make it more one thing.... First I try to get the movement down. WhenI came back after the workshop I directed the work as a silent play. I threw away the text. The first week I rehearsed that way, and then I did a run-through of the complete work in which there was no spoken word, just silence. Then I could see how that was structured. And then the next week we sat and we read through the text. And then I completed the text, cutting It and so forth. And then we worked luston the text and I didn't think so much about themovement. And then I put the two together and made adjustments. And then I had been thinking about the lighting since the verybeginning and the next thing I did when we got into the theatre was spend six days lighting the show. I Ht everything-an object, a tree, a table, a rock, a mountain as well as a person , a hand or a face or whatever. And then after thatperiod was complete, and there are no spoken words, Just lighting, then I go back to the audio score and concentrate just on the audio score not thinking of light or anything else but the sound levels, the balance of sound, the Integration of the pre-recorded text. Then weput it all together.And then, when you see it all together you have to make other kinds of adjustments. You don't want things to line up-maybe they illustrate each other-or maybe you do. Or maybe you want to make different edges, or the rhythms aren't right together. I have time to reflect, see my mistakes. I felt I was Illustrating the text too 86 much tl thamovments, that what I was doing with the actors was redunA tom tt athl10tr reangof the lines was not correct. I was working with s mW#*#te @aOf the Euwpides text then, but I felt I had to make It mtheatI d8 1ewroe it myself.It's better too for the *break. Ivo saidmany times if I make a drawing one night I .may n el this Is the greatest drawing I've ever done, or the worst one o.fhatmw, butItook atit the next morning and I see It differently. But if I Ift with it for some time, I know more about it, whether I really like It or on'tlke It, andit's the same with the work. I would like to come back and dothisthree yots from now. Continue working on it.There are some things that am not ghdtf that I cantget right now, but we make plays for an audio . ad we'r9 going to have a dialogue with the audience. That's what was ktnam ting aboutBalsn$hne,having things In repertory.He soldonce, ,6ho e long enough, maybe I'llget It." He was fortunate to have a reperImy smtion. TOM KAMM, SET DESIGN It's really Bob's conceptual world that everybody is dealing in. Many times he will say what should be on stage, but he doesn't know exactly what that is or even what It looks like. That's where I enter. Last summer when we did the workshop here, his first words about the show were that there's a mountain at the back of the stage and a river that runs through the middle of the stage. He and Jennifer and I had two meetings before I came up here, so I already knew this. And he knew at the end of the...


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pp. 86-87
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