Monday, March 6, 2006

Chasing Weekend

This weekend was long. 7 hours each day. Lots of physical strength and balance training.

We added a new cast member today into rehearsals, but everything integrated nicely. The ensemble building exercises have paid off. The company's singing has improved drastically with its focus. And the palate of physical action is really appearing nicely.

So. We discovered that the Damsel and the Suitor are reminiscent of early Disney Cartoon's. Their lazzi is short and sweet. They offer simple, true desires, and clearly express those desires to each other and the audience. They are adorable. It just doesn't ever work out. These characters are silent - so we have to spend a lot of time of making every beat clear, simple and clean. Much progress. Very funny.

Our next Weekend success was solidifying the CARTOON chase sequence. The company has to work in absolute precision. It's great, because one of Out of Hand's trademarks is precise simultaneous action. Actors will turn in exactly the same direction or bolt across the stage at the same time without a cue or prep. It borrows from dance while working with the gestures of everyday life. I'm excited about these little discoveries.

We also spent a lot time working on the "Expressions Palate" for each character. Cartoon characters all have a set of stock expressions with great descriptions like: "Scared pooplesss" or "Just gosh darn happy." We are trying to limit our characters to a basic set of emotional states (with variation, of course.) The characters are icons, not fully psychologically realized characters, so they require a different approach.

Some of the characters came alive instantly. Others are still a mystery. It's a funny process. Some of the actors are frustrated or discouraged. If it wasn’t' hard, I don't think it would be worth doing.

Creating the opening number hasn't happened. It will.

Onto the play. We shift gears and start putting this beast on its feet.
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