Monday, March 13, 2006

Weekend push


This weekend was split up into two long rehearsal days.

Saturday focused on character specific work. We spent 3 hours nailing down the Damsel and the Suitor. These are the simplest of the characters – from the perspective of how complex the character’s inner life is. Their awareness of what’s going on around them. Their basic desires. This makes them especially difficult to play. Their simple, simple thoughts have to be crystal clear and they have to think fast. They have to be versatile and change on a dime. As we work on the Damsel – Suitor sequence over and over, it can feel like it’s not working or that it has lost the thing that made me laugh the first 12 times I saw it. But the rehearsal is about making it perfect. The 2 actors are brave to take on this style of performance. It’s not something we often have the opportunity to do.

The afternoon was dedicated to the more complex characters. Trouble. Esther. And the Rockstar Teddy Bear – who, it turns out, isn’t that complex. We found our way into these characters for the 1st time. And then broke all expectations by making a long fight sequence that is straight out of Warner Brothers, complete with chases, croquet, Bugs style sucker punches, and more chases. Fun.

Sunday.

We returned to the Schoolgirl fight in the morning, but had to take a break for publicity photos.

The afternoon had the entire cast in the room. We worked the 1st 4 scenes of the play – the exposition. There are a lot of group movements – like leaping into the air at the same time, winding up to run, then racing out of the room, falls, chases. So, we drilled. And are getting closer.

Then, we meticulously worked through. It was kind of a show and tell moment. We’ve been working separately a lot, so it was useful for the actors to see what the others are doing. It gives them, and me, and chance to see what work and what doesn’t work in terms of the style and playing of the show.
Tomorrow, we run the whole show for the designers. A true stumble through.
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