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The Intuitive Spark: coup d'oeil in The Dybbuk

  • Author(s): Juengel, Lauren;
  • Advisor(s): Porter, Lisa J.;
  • et al.

When I engage my intuition, I can walk into any situation and read, comprehend, and adjust, working to set effective goals that support the production. Malcolm Gladwell refers to this engagement as "court-sense," coup d'oeil, the power of the glance, which is the essence of a great stage manager. Intuition and court-sense have been essential tools throughout my graduate studies and The Dybbuk created a collaborative space to work intuitively.

In rehearsals for The Dybbuk, we discussed a Talmudic concept that the bodily vibration of Jews during prayer mimics the motion of flame striving to escape its wick. As depicted in the play, every person has a spark of the divine in them. The flame represents the inescapable pull of one's soul towards God. It is not a rational, quantifiable phenomenon. Rather, it is something that must be intuited. Certain forms of Jewish prayer such as the wordless nigun performed in the show attempt to hone that intuition.

The cast of The Dybbuk was not familiar with these Jewish customs or traditions and establishing a safe environment was important for meaningful collaboration. I was encouraged to share my thoughts and opinions, and felt unencumbered and integral throughout the process. The active trust I shared with the director allowed me to invest deeply in the production and I was a living, breathing part of the creative process. This intuitive experience, which was so present in The Dybbuk, allowed me to culminate my graduate studies, connecting my professional journey to my coup d'oeil.

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