I’m directing the farce Boeing Boeing at Bas Bleu Theatre, in Ft. Collins, Colorado this spring and summer. (I’m performing the role of Berthe, the housekeeper, too, but that’s not the point of this post.) I’m utterly absorbed in thinking about it, and researching. I’ve been re-reading the script and watching other performances online. I can find bits of performances from the US. But I get to watch the entire show in foreign languages, like French and Dutch. (I’ve got a Norwegian version on deck.) And since I am coming to know the show very well, I can identify what’s going on, even though I don’t understand the words. I could tell you – “That’s the bit about American men – that’s the bit about does he really love her. Next – he’s going to try to get in her room.”
The pauses, the shifts of tone and volume, the facial expressions – all are made more powerful by the fact that I do not have the language. I think it’s probably an excellent training for a director, or an actor. Focus on the body, the voice, the tone, the rhythm – right? I’m training my eye and ear. This will serve me well when I end up on stage with my talented cast, who will be ready to explore the play with me, and find our own physical expression of the text.