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Assistant Director Alexandra Stroming reflects on the final week in rehearsal for The Woman Who Turned Into A Tree, ahead of the world premiere.

A woman laughing in rehearsal.
The sun shines through our rehearsal room window…

…providing a perfect spotlight for Bash and Ioli to prepare for a run through. A peaceful calm comes over the space as they stretch, breathe, and make sounds only known to actors during a warm-up. Emily prepares to take notes, and I skim through fresh script changes on my laptop. I smile imagining what others would think if they inadvertently walked in on rehearsal: people climbing on furniture, rolling on the floor, waltzing, playing with wigs, standing on top of one another – just a typical day for The Woman Who Turned Into a Tree as we prepare for our first preview of Netflix writer Lisa Langseth’s play at Omnibus Theatre on April 4.

The story of Daphne in our play…

…as well as in the Greek myth, is a story of transformation. The world is constantly changing around us, quick transformations catching our eyes (like a new brand on the shelves at Lidl or the sun appearing for 5 minutes after hiding for a week and a half), or transformations so massive that they don’t fit inside the scope of our gaze, changing so slowly that we wake up one morning and realize we’ve arrived in a new era (unrelated question – when did slicked back hair parted down the middle become so popular?). But what the play really asks is- what happens when we try to control those transformations? What happens when we try to transform ourselves?

We will transform…

…whether we want to or not. It is impossible to move through the world without being affected by it- by the people you meet, the shows you watch, the places you live. Daphne, our character, understands this concept deeply – and takes it to the extreme. Every choice she makes derives from this truth. So, she reasons, if I find the most perfect clothes, the most perfect flat, the most perfect city, the most perfect makeup, the most perfect friends- I will become perfect. We become the people we think we are.

A couple weeks ago…

…my mom back in Washington state sent me a sweet note in the mail. On the front was a quote: “The only person you’re destined to become is the person you decide to be.” Being the overly-philosophical person that I am, I had to stop and think about this, as it reminded me of the words and concepts found in The Woman (funny how when you’re engrossed in an artistic endeavour, you start to see it everywhere- anybody else!?). What does autonomy really mean? How much do our short term choices affect our long-term outcomes? What kind of power do our thoughts really have?

I will now do a very annoying philosophical thing …

…where I ask you a bunch of questions and then don’t provide an answer. Sorry, I’m only human, and I have a hunch that there’s no simple answer anyway. But! I have good news – The Woman Who Turned Into A Tree is opening soon, and we would love to test out these questions with you there.

But first, we have to test out our light and sound cues. And I have to convince Emily that we need real trees onstage (FYI – not looking very likely).

Happy tech week from The Woman Who Turned Into a Tree – we can’t wait to see you in the

The Woman Who Turned into a Tree will be performed at Omnibus Theatre on 4-22 April. Find out more here→ 


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