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"With “Constellations & Crossroads,” BROS and Arena Players are trying to stage two amazing pieces of theater and make a small step toward desegregating two small corners of Baltimore theater. They’re trying to reach new audiences and figure out how to work together in different ways. They’re trying to stay true to who they are and become better versions of themselves.
So they’re putting in the work. After Higgins, Lewis, and Watson run through “Blue Apple” once, Keating calls them to the front of the stage where he and vocal coach Armstrong go over some notes they made. Armstrong says they’re going to have a flourish session later in the week so they can practice some vocal variations they can use in the gospel song that closes the play. Keating compliments Lewis on how she’s finding her Jesus power. They all offer Watson different ways for not saying the lone “motherfucker” in the libretto. Keating reminds Watson that when he’s addressing the tree, he’s speaking to the souls of people. Keating tells Higgins that as the Devil, she commands respect, and when Jesus tries to push her around she should feel OK about embracing her rage. The cast asks about the sequence of a certain special effect, and Keating thinks for a second and rattles off: lighting bolt, big thunderclap, wind, more wind, big crack, wind, silence.
Rehearsals aren’t mere practice, they’re feats of imagination to summon what reality is going to look and feel like when it’s time to perform in front of an audience. So cast and crew imagine what the theater is going to look like when the auditorium is full. They imagine what the stage is going to look like when it’s dressed. Imagine what Baltimore could look like when its theater companies break down barriers that might be keeping them from becoming more diverse and inclusive. Imagine what kind of effect art can have on the people it touches. Imagine harder."