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Wm. Blake & Money

Wm. Blake & Money: Do we want to enlist the collaboration of a designer as we explore? Funding, it seems, is going to influence how “visionary” our production is. And how clothed?

I haven’t looked at the material all summer, so I’m throwing out some wild card notions. A Robert Wilson-ish large scale “opera” approach is obviously one way to go, but I’m also continuing to be interested in the notion of a drawing room containing “characters” who take upon themselves the projections within the songs.

Perhaps the first performance should take place in an actual drawing room with an audience of potential investors…

Notion: the production very lean, “stage managed” by the children’s chorus; they give the “adults” things to do and wear to facilitate the rendering of each song; a chorus member announces the name of each song and then the chorus organizes each presentation; the adults merely render and are perpetually good sports (or perhaps not always good sports–maybe they are indolent and weary at times). The children are full of industry preparing the various elements (puppets, etc–everything can then seem made–and if we have a dance component, it can come out of the chorus or put into effect, somehow, by the chorus); this implies, too, that the orchestra should be a youth orchestra and part of the action.

What if there are a few cots on stage on which the adults rest, occasionally napping, the children having to drag them out on occasion to perform a song.

To go further (perhaps too far) with this notion. A series of rooms at the Inn. Each containing a “weary” adult occupant, alone with bed bowl and candle, each a clear character with a reason to be in a room alone taking respite from a lonely journey. The children draw them out of their isolation to perform with them. Even beginning with slumbering adults, and the youth orchestra enters, takes up position and plays; adults putting pillows over their heads to block the sound, etc.

Any interest in the meantime in putting on a production of Lewis’ The Monk? Kathryn tells me there is a stage adaptation. The book was one of the first scandalous gothic pot-boilers to seize the Romantic imagination.

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