a Christmas Play for any time of year

We’re deep into the creation process of the high school fall show now, and it’s a delight. We start rehearsals by turning traditional vocal warm-ups (“To sit in solemn silence…”) into Christmas carols and stumbling through improvised and Texas-specific versions of “Twelve Days of Tex-Mas”. (“On the first day of Tex-Mas my true love gave to me: a $50 Salt Lick gift card”). I’ve been handing out character descriptions and having the actors improvise specific ideas for scenes, and I’m 100% certain we’ll be sick of Christmas by the time the show goes up.

Incidentally, while we’ll be producing this in December, I would love to see someone tackle this in May.

One of the challenges of working with an ensemble is navigating between the world/words I create and the material that I co-create with the student actors. Do you write the scene that’s in your head, or do you wait and see what the actors make? Last year the challenges of hybrid teaching meant that I created more material myself from scratch than usual, and I am having to relearn folding the devising-with-ensemble into the process. And I wonder, I send this question to the void, who else contemplates these questions in their praxis?

No matter what, it still a joyful experience.

Alright, B, back to work.

(GoT voice) Christmas is coming.


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