Rhythm Is Character

August Wilson's JITNEY Comes to Music Hall

The gift of a great script is that if the actor simply commits to learning the lines exactly as written, they will then get the rhythm, and once they have the rhythm, they will then have the character.

One of the greatest productions I ever saw was of August Wilson’s Jitney. I saw it many times and got to know one of the actors through those repeat viewings. I asked him about the director’s rehearsal process. He said that for the most part, the director just closed his eyes and listened to the piece. If the rhythm was right, he let the actors keep going. If it was off, and it was almost always because of a blown pause or saying the wrong word, the director would stop and have them go back.

Once the cast could get through the whole script without stopping is when they knew they were on the right track.

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