Directors Project Exchange Program: Rehearsals in BulgariaMonday, December 5th, 2011
Drama League Directors Project alumnus Andrew Volkoff is currently in Bulgaria directing a production as part of our international directing exchange program. During his time in residence, he’ll be blogging about his experiences, and we’ll be sharing his posts here.
For more information about The Drama League Directors Project or our exchange program in Bulgaria,click here or call (212) 244-9494.
From Andrew Volkoff:
Hey guys! Just a quick note to say hi!
I start rehearsals tomorrow and now something seems to be going a bit kooky with my AOL mail. Everything from Nov. 27th to Dec.3rd seems to be missing… UGH! Anyhow, I have it all backed up to Gmail….
Assisting on Love and Money here was partly to come over to get to know the actors and see how the BG folks work in terms of tech, etc. as the show develops. I suggested a few adjustments over the course of two of the monologues (I’m great with monologues!) as well as opportunities for tightening dynamics within scenes and transitions….The director (Petar Kaukov) was very open to suggestions and the cast was quickly taken with me and I them. They wanted to know my opinion all the time, but me, forever the diplomat, supported the director’s vision.
As a result, for opening, I was dragged up onstage to take my first bow on the Bulgarian stage. Flattering and embarrassing and wonderful all at once. I was always made to feel a part of the team and I hope I can generate the same feeling with my cast… I think someone took pictures of that and if I can get them to send to you, I will… Did you get the copy of the announcement of my cast? I realize it’s in Bulgarian, but that’s the official document declaring the production is happening! Very cool!
I spent the weekend in the Balkan mountains and we had the most amazing lunch on an unbelievably, temperate Saturday afternoon (outside, in the yard, very Chekovian) of truchia which is the pickled vegetables that my grandma used to make! I was so surprised to experience that same taste again! This was homemade and very good. Along with that we had cheese, bread, and loukanka which is a sausage they make here similar to summer sausage. Very very tasty! It was all very rustic. Like Tuscany, but not quite as romantic…
The next morning, the hostess taught me how she makes banitza (a cheese pastry) which was, I have to say, very close to the way I make it. She adds some yogurt and flour to the cheese mixture and doesn’t coat the dough at the end with egg or butter… It was extremely good, but I still prefer the Nellie Volkoff (my late grandmother) version of banitza.
Oh! Went to a monastery yesterday and bought rakiya (Bulgarian brandy) out of the back of a car! It’s made from dried plums. Felt like a drug deal, but now I feel like I’ve fully experienced BG life… I think I will give some to my cousin Gregory for Xmas… He’s a big fan of Balkan liqueurs.
Please send me love and wishes for success with the beginning of tomorrow’s rehearsal. I’ll need it!