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My name is Tom Gugliuzza and I am one of five fellows in the Paula Vogel Mentors Program. With this program, I was able to participate in rehearsal and attend a performance of How To Break, written by my mentor Aaron Jafferis. These experiences gave me a lot to think about in terms of my own writing and work in the world of theater. I was amazed by the amount of progress that the actors made in the week between the rehearsal that I attended and the performance on that subsequent Saturday. During that rehearsal, there was still some work to be done. That Saturday was the first run through of the entire play as a whole unit. This is a milestone for any rehearsal period because it showcases all of the work done up to this point by the actors as well as showing the blocking or movements on the stage. The actual performance which was hosted by the Arts For Healing Festival in New Haven, Connecticut, mixed the fast paced dance and verse of Hip Hop culture with the traditionally slow and steady method of the medical world. Both before and after the performance, I was able to talk with Aaron and the full cast to gain a better understanding of the work as well as becoming more acquainted with the fantastic actors and stage manager that brought the work to life.
The main thing that this play brought into focus for me however was the idea of using music within my work. Traditionally, my writing has not included any instructions as far as music is concerned. This oversight on my part has left one of the few avenues of speaking with an audience without the use of the actors onstage rather dull in my previous works. I will certainly incorporate this lesson into my future works which hopefully will be created soon.
Goodbye for now dear readers and hopefully I will update you soon!
To read more on How to Break visit http://www.aaronjafferis.com/shows/break/
Paula Vogel Mentors Project is made by possible by the generous support of the Independence Foundation New Theatre Works Initiative, the Nessa Forman (& Family) Fund at The Philadelphia Foundation, and Honorary Producers, Virginia & Harvey Kimmel.