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The Artist’s Journey: Anthony Luciano – Week 2 - La Jolla Playhouse Blog

The Artist’s Journey: Anthony Luciano – Week 2

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Each week, The Artist’s Journey will provide an insider look at the creation of a production, from first rehearsal to opening night, through the eyes of one of the show’s key players.

Anthony Luciano is an M.F.A. Directing student in the UCSD graduate theatre program and is Assistant Director on A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Anthony Luciano

Anthony Luciano


Well we’re in it now. We’ve crossed over; somewhere along this week, as is customary, the beginning has faded and now we’re into the body of the thing. This can be the most fun of it all: everybody’s settled in and together we’re settling in as a company; the play is still somewhat new but known enough for the first pass at things to fade and the remarkable scents to emerge; and not yet at the struggle place where what was once sketched needs shading; or the reckoning where moments once alive are now tired—or belong to an older draft—and must be callously jettisoned like old loves. Nope, none of that: now fun and making scenes and the poking around at what this play might be.

And maybe this is what is so remarkable about being involved in the directing of a play. Ultimately the play leaves the director’s hands, but even in the making of the play there is a series of hand-offs. Though it seems as though every moment is built before stepping into rehearsal, it’s all brand new in rehearsal. And so there is the great moment after the read-through when the tables go away and everyone is on their feet and you know everyone is wondering: What is this play going to be? What are we going to make? Sure there will be acrobats (there are) and silks (there are) and we know the time period (Victorian) and we know the words are written and what they mean, but what is this thing we are making? I mean, does Demetrius love Helena throughout? Uh, I guess we’ll find out on Thursday. But that could change on Saturday. And so it’s impossible to know. There’s a great void in front of everyone with a few shady outcroppings in the distance: Bottom gets a funny face, there are songs, some fighting, people fall in love and then a super funny play and blessing. But how will we all get there? And the only way to know is to run right into it. And do it with a bunch of strangers.

So this is where we are right now, and its kinda totally great. We’ve made it through the first part, dabbled slightly into the second half and that’s where we pick up on Tuesday (Monday is the day off).

Unfortunately no gossip so far. I think that may be the case on this one: I don’t think anybody’s making out with anybody else in the cast. Ah well. I’ll stir up trouble as best I can and report next week. So, “Out of this wood do not desire to go.”


  1. Beautifully said. How amazing is it to work alongside Chris Ashley?

    Arielle Pardes

    9:01 am

  2. Thank You! Working with Chris is great, like really really super great. His patience is remarkable, he is open, generous and runs a room beautifully. And it’s amazing to watch him build the play: to see him take in what’s happening in the room and make elegant, sometimes snap, decisions about what fits and what doesn’t. So, yeah, I think this is a pretty stellar residency for me. I’ve been wanting to work with Chris for awhile: who knew all I had to do was leave New York and sleaze my way into grad school!


    6:36 pm