Friday, May 9, 2008

Young Lady from Rwanda Journal - Week 1, by Miriam Hyman

Week 1

We begin the week of rehearsals by doing table work, reading through the play, discussing characters, and the play’s overall journey and purpose. It's difficult material because of a few reasons: it's based on true events, a horrible one at that, and inspired by real people. My goal for this week is to do a bunch of research about Rwanda itself, the people, their cultures, lifestyles and so on. At rehearsal, the dramaturg and director are kind enough to share several reading materials, such as What Is the What, Life Laid Bare, We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families, and Left to Tell, just to name a few. During this week I will also watch many films to give me precise images of the horrific disaster of genocide in Rwanda, such as Sometimes in April, Hotel Rwanda, Last King of Scotland and Ghosts of Rwanda. For me it is necessary to see what my character would have seen. I also observe these films to listen for dialect references and natural rhythms of speech. This is a busy week for me because, in addition to all this research, I must constantly learn lines, more lines, and more lines. Luckily, I began learning lines and doing research before I came to People’s Light to begin the rehearsal process for I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda. It is a tough process, but there is no place I would rather be and no other show that I would rather do than what’s in front of me. My mission is to do Juliette's (my character) story justice.