How did we get to be here? Choreographer Lorin Latarro spoke to us about re-imagining Merrily We Roll Along.
An edited transcript follows. To read the full interview, check out the Merrily We Roll Along UPSTAGE Guide.
My process varies, based on the content of a play or musical. Sometimes I prep heavily and know exactly where everyone stands and what count they dance on, and how each musical number begins and ends.
For Merrily though, we found most of our ideas in the room together. We discovered how our Merrily behaved on our feet. Fiasco actors have sharp, smart instincts. The vibe was so creative that with each day we dreamt up new moments.
The rehearsal room was buzzing with creativity. The group made it easy to speak an idea out loud that others could then add to.
Working backwards has its thrilling possibilities and pitfalls. Even talking about the dramaturgy can get confusing. I often heard one of us saying, "You mean the order it happens onstage, or when it happened in the characters' lives?"
Ultimately, the concept works beautifully to make an audience feel the consequence of one’s actions.
I don't think my work will be influenced by earlier choreographic decisions, but rather from Fiasco's point of view and approach. Though, choreography is a sneaky thing. Sometimes, a choreographer's ideas are so deeply imbedded in the DNA of a show, they are disguised as stage direction or even text. For those moments, I am grateful and respectful of all the artists who worked on it in the past and their lasting influence on the show.
The Dream Team
Too receive a call from the Fiasco team was an unexpected thrill. I am a huge fan of their work and process. My hope was to join them in the room and not squash their singular aesthetic, but to extend ideas and riff with them.
When working with the rest of the creative team, I am attracted to true collaborators who support creativity and are brave enough to take something apart to see other ways it can be put together. Noah, Alex, and I clicked in a deep way.
—Lorin Latarro, November 2018. Interview conducted by Ted Sod.
Merrily We Roll Along is now playing off-Broadway.BUY TICKETS