We respect individual voices, look for human contact, appreciate everyone’s contribution, and respect cultural differences. We want to be accepting of disagreements and never sacrifice human dignity. We try our best to be coherent with this message and how we behave towards each other…
In the rehearsal hall, we look for joy and freedom. We encourage a lateral, open-minded rehearsal process in order to empower the members of the creative team to give their point of view and draw deeply from within their own personal histories and resources. Many ideas can better feed the final product.
We do not, however, define our working relationship as a collective”. There is a hierarchy that starts with the play at the apex, followed by Soheil, who leads the other collaborators. The designers have a more direct path to Soheil that is outside of the rehearsal hall, but when the process allows for their greater participation, the designers participate in much the same collaborative way as the acting team.
The rehearsal period is longer, sometimes eleven weeks, and can take place between six months to two years and over several workshops, depending on the complexity of the material. During rehearsals we structure the time, but resist over-scheduling. We allow for the unpredictable nature of the creative process that can both accelerate or decelerate a rehearsal process.
The success of the Modern Times rehearsal process depends on choosing the right actors, stage managers and other personnel that are in the rehearsal hall. When we miss the mark, it is usually because someone’s own ideas or input are more important to them than the search for the best possible end result. It’s a difficult balance to strike for a collaborator–to offer one’s input and know where the limit is. There is rarely a “perfect” project at the level of collaboration.