As a resident company, the members of Elements have the distinct privilege of knowing each other really well. I mean REALLY well – like, probably knowing more than you want to know or be known about at times.
This has its pluses and minuses. I confess that I have wondered recently about what it would be like to put on a show with total strangers – no baggage, no worries, no relationships to protect…
But then I was thinking about Dream, and specifically about the Mechanicals. Now, without giving too much away, we Mechanicals have decided that we are all members of a certain group that meet regularly to share our common struggles, to confront each other, and to support each other. We know each other really well, and we’ve seen each other at our best and at our worst. We want good things for each other. And a fascinating thing I’ve noticed in our process so far is that the time spent off-stage, developing these relationships and really getting to know Snout, Snug, Flute, Quince, and Bottom, has been way more important than the time spent acting on-stage. And the things that come out in our interaction through Shakespeare’s dialog present a Technicolor experience of total honesty, trust, earnest-ness, and joyful abandon.
So I return to my original wonderment, about the potential benefits of anonymity. Maybe I’ll get to try it someday, but for now I wouldn’t trade that safety of knowing and being known. For us Mechanicals anyway, it’s a very good thing.