Reflecting on Jan. 4 and 5

Gut morgn! Ruby here, checking in with my second blog post!

Though I originally planned on making this a daily blog, I’ve decided to combine my reflections from the last two days. I made this decision after realizing that, in terms of my schedule, they were structurally very similar.

So, for your sake and mine, let it be a daily-ish blog!

I’ve spent my last two mornings/afternoons working on a first draft of a puppet show, aimed at introducing young kids to the yiddish language. So far, this has been a wild process, full of a lot of discovery.

I was told that I could do anything with this puppet show. Follow any instincts. Use my imagination. This has made the process really exciting. I am also plagued by the fear, however, that my imagination will lead me in a totally terrible and wrong direction. We shall see! If not wrong, it is definitely leading me in a different direction than I thought it would.

My original plan was to write a hand puppet adaptation of a delightful Boris Sandler story about a young elephant… Much to my surprise, by the end of yesterday, I had a working draft of a shadow puppet adaptation of a Moyshe Kulbak story about the wind. I’m having a meeting to check in about my work tomorrow. I’ll let you, all my many dedicated readers who I definitely have (mom), know how it goes.

Oooh! I almost forgot! I also wrote a first draft of a fun, educational, yiddish/english puppet song and dance number recently… We’ll see where that goes.

NOTE: It’s been amazing seeing how many of the younger members of NYRT are interested in musical theater. Everyone is starting to create their own work (!!!), and I get the feeling that 1) there’s about to be a lot of new, diverse yiddish work being put out there, and 2) song, dance, and musical theater will definitely be playing a role.

The last two nights have also been the final two previews (ah!!) before Vartn af Godot opens (today!! ah!!). The show has really come together in the last couple weeks. Everyone seems solid in their roles, both on and off stage.

It is really astounding how many barriers have been overcome to get to this place. From an actor having to step in and memorize all of his lines and blocking with only about two days to previews, to me (a beginner yiddish student) being placed in said actor’s prior position working the supertitles, to an actor needing to learn a crazy long, partially gibberish monologue in a language he didn’t know, to an actor accidentally falling asleep on the subway and almost getting to a show late, to an actor starting to get sick (we don’t have crazy things like understudies), to the fact that everyone has about 10 opinions about how the show should go which often contradict both each other and everyone else’s 10,000 opinions (I feel there’s a Jew joke to be made here…), there are a lot of places where this show could have totally fallen apart.

And yet, somehow, this theater really knows how to get things done. The people who make up this theater know how to get things done. There could be a full reality TV show about the conversations that happen back stage, but at the same time, everyone has an ability to (as my wonderful high school theater director would say…) make it happen.

In two supertitle slides:

With that, I’m off to do some writing…

…And then off to the theater for Vartn af Godot’s OPENING MATINEE!!!!

Biz bald.

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