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ArtisTree Open Rehearsal Series 2018: The Review


By Arthur Tam

The ArtisTree Open Rehearsals Series launched to great sold-out fanfare this past week with CITA / International Centre for Theatre Arts and The Nonsensemakers’ Emoto. Missed them? Don’t worry – there’s another round of Open Rehearsals coming up in August. Read on to find out what to expect from the experience, the interaction and the food, straight from members of the audience.

First Impressions: Why were you interested in the ArtisTree Open Rehearsals?
Diana d'Arenberg, Art Writer, Central:
This seemed like something different and experimental, so it piqued my curiosity.

Christine Ngai, Administrative Personnel, Oxford House in Taikoo Place:
I’m interested in live performances. This event caught my eye because we are able to see live rehearsals.

Wesley Yau, Student, Chai Wan:
My family and I are fans of The Nonsensemakers. I've also read the book Water Knows the Answer, so I have a particular interest.

Emily Leung, Finance, Chai Wan:
I saw the Facebook post on this event; I’m really looking forward to how this show will portray the experiment, which I’ve read about.

Main Course: What did you think about the audience/cast interaction? 

Diana: It was interesting that we were involved in directorial choices. Rather than being a fly on the wall, we are somewhat part of the performance. There were a lot of students and young people, which is great!

Wesley: We got to understand the thought process behind the development of the performance. And some of the audience members were even able to have their opinions incorporated in the final performance.

Charissa Chan, Hotel Management, Quarry Bay: I’ve never been to a rehearsal before; I liked how the director interacted with cast members and audience.

Christine: The Hong Kong and Japanese collaboration is quite special. Watching Rensen [Chan, actor] refine his scene and breathing techniques was quite captivating and we got to appreciate all the behind-the-scenes effort. You gain a new perspective and more insight into the background of the show.

The Meal/Show Pairing: Did you enjoy the bespoke menu?

Diana: The food was a fun addition. It put us more at ease and broke the ice a little between audience and performers.

Christine: It was exquisite and beyond what I had expected.

Charissa: It helped me take my mind off work!

Takeaway: What did you think of the Open Rehearsal experience?

Wesley: It widened my perspective on performances. You see the actors fine-tune different iterations of a certain movement and you see how it takes a collection of opinions to achieve the best result. I will certainly have a more critical eye toward some aspects of the show during the actual performance.

Charissa: I was impressed that it was not a fake rehearsal.

Emily: I enjoyed the experience very much because it allowed us to use our imagination to fill in the gaps ourselves. Watching the performers bounce ideas off of each other and gaining insight behind some of the gestures and movements was particularly interesting. I’m really looking forward to the final performance!

The ArtisTree Open Rehearsals continue in August with contemporary dance collective iCoDaCo. Stay tuned for registration details.

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