Lawyers to Actors: A Glimpse into the Lawyer Play Experience
By Pamela Feghali
Pamela Feghali is the co-director of The Rule of Three and the recipient of the Shannon Reynolds Memorial Endowment Fund Internship.
In March 2018, we began rehearsals for the 19th Annual Lawyer Play. What was this journey going to be like? I hadn’t an idea just yet.
We went through the audition process (28 lawyers in total!), we cast our plays, and then it was the day of the first read. It felt like the first day of school: introducing the person next to you, snacks, coffee (lots of coffee!), and play reading. The lawyers have this incredible energy and genuine excitement for theatre. And this I was glad to see more and more of as the process unfolded.
Since The Rule of Three is made up of three one-act plays, we rehearsed each play twice a week leading up to tech week. Clearly this experience was very different from working on a professional production where we would typically rehearse eight intensive hours, six days a week for four weeks straight! Admittedly, because of the shorter rehearsals and the long gaps between them, I would get pretty nervous before heading into rehearsal. My usual approach in directing is exploration first, and blocking after. In other words, let’s play around in the space, ease our way into the story, and try anything and everything before we commit to one choice. But I soon realized that because of our time constraints, my approach needed to be a little subdued and refined so as to provide the lawyers with more specific direction from the get-go.
Without much time at all, we learned a lot about each other, particularly how we worked. Soon we were able to find a middle ground that suited both of our needs all while developing a growing appreciation for one another. We’ve had many laughs along the way, insightful conversations and character breakthrough moments. It’ll definitely be hard to part ways once this show closes on Saturday.
It’s been an absolute pleasure working on the Lawyer Play. The cast is clever, funny, curious, and invested in making this show a huge success. You really notice this when you watch the tremendous work that they’ve put into the production.
I feel very lucky to have been part of this unique experience and to have shared it with colleague and mentor, Eric Coates. He was such a great support throughout the entirety of this process, always available, present and helpful. I am grateful for the opportunity to have co-directed The Rule of Three with him and am proud of the work we’ve done! Thanks again to the GCTC and to the Shannon Reynolds Memorial Fund Donors for warmly welcoming this emerging director in GCTC’s 2017-18 season!