Turtles is rehearsing in classrooms at Berklee College. We're lucky to have access to the space, because one of the daunting obstacles every young theater company in Boston has to deal with is rehearsal space. We don't have NYC outside our window. But we do have loud street noises reminding us we're in a city, and we have the inviting(?) Rice Bowl just below us.
This week we're working on specific spots in the play. Tonight we concentrated on that key scene in the second act where Bella and Jesus discuss (argue) what it really means to be human, while Finn, in his wonderful boyish way, shows us instead. Tonight it was just Alex and Elle in the rehearsal space, with Alex heading upstairs to work with Dialect Coach Lorena Calderon while Elle stayed downstairs to work with Jeff on Finn's metamorphosis into a bird.
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Then, we pulled it all together.
A polar bear grows its thick coat to keep warm. Grows sharp claws to be the supreme killer where food is scarce, where being a supreme killer is the difference between life and death. The polar bear has adapted. We are a species capable of destroying ourselves. There is a reason we have developed emotions such empathy, kindness, and hope. We developed them out of survival. If we hadn’t, we probably would have destroyed ourselves long ago. Can you imagine a polar bear feeling remorse for killing a seal? And while you are not perfect, you love and care for your children –you love another human being. I maintain, through your actions, there is a very good chance that you are further along the evolutionary scale. You might very well represent a higher form of the species, while others will go the way of the dodo. That is what it means to be human.