Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January 12th rehearsal

Today's drawing: Favorite Vacation

Today we did an extensive warm-up so the cast could be energized and prepared to do the stumble-through. First we did some vocal warm-ups. Then we went onto "Chop, chop, saw", "Zoom", and "Ninja Foot Tag". By the time the designers came, the actors were ready to go.

The stumble-through went really well. There were some rough patches where blocking was wonky. After sitting back and watching the show straight through I definitely saw some blocking that needed to be fixed. Although there were some things that needed fixing, especially because of the new set, the whole cast did a wonderful job at following their instincts.

After the stumble-through, we blocked the end of the show. I knew this was going to be a more difficult part to block, not because there is extensive movement, but the emotional aspect made it hard. It isn't easy rehearsing a child's death over and over again, that's for damn sure.

From now on we are going to start working on the fine details and nuancing the show. Only 1 1/2 weeks until 1st dress rehearsal. Things are going to be crazy!

Monday, January 11, 2010

January 10th rehearsal

Today we did an exercise that took the cast back to their childhood. I found that it was rewarding for most and a little difficult for others.

My attempts to build the cast bond and really make this team whole has been very successful. I feel it is important to be able to connect with your cast on a different level. I believe that directing is a collaborative effort. Being able to have a bond with your cast but still draw the line of professionalism is hard, especially when the cast consists of your friends and peers, but in this case, the line is there and solid.

The cast has been generating so many wonderful ideas. Each person contributes to the success of the blocking.

We continued to block today and got a lot done. Since a lot of the scenes go back to similar places, the process goes a little faster.
I must give credit, where credit is due: Jordan was able to look at one of the scenes and see a perspective that had never come to mind. We tried his idea and it created an awesome image on stage!

We have not finished blocking like I had planned, but we have accomplished way more on the actor level than I had expected.

I am proud of you cast! Thank you for all your hard work today, it is much appreciated!

January 9th rehearsal

We had rehearsal at Noon today but everyone still seemed to be pretty exhausted. I think the first week is still lingering in all of us.

To warm up we stretched and we played a new game! I'm not sure of its official name but the morbid name we use is "the murder game." It is quite simple but forces the people playing to strategize and pay attention to their surroundings. To start off, all of the participants stand in a circle with their eyes closed, and I pick a "killer" by either tapping them on the head or the shoulder. Once I have chosen everyone opens their eyes and begins to move around the room and shake hands with other participants. The killer must conspicuously scratch the victims hand without anyone else noticing in order to kill them. Once you have been killed you must postpone your death so as to not reveal the killer and then die a melodramatic, slow and painful death. After at least three people have died, then someone may guess the killer if they think they know. If they are wrong, the die.
All the cast members seem to have a blast when playing this game! And it sure is hilarious to watch!

Todays Drawing: You and your me doll!
(I had the cast bring their own "me dolls" from home that represented them in some,way, shape or form)

We were in 1601 today, so our blocking options were limited. I skipped towards the end where the movement is limited and there aren't constantly 8 people on stage. There is one moment we blocked that was unexpectedly powerful. On paper, this certain moment seemed as though it would be an average scene but after staging it, it left a few of us in tears. I must say, the cast is really quite talented. I don't there is a rehearsal that has gone by where, at some point, they haven't brought a tear to my eye!

Tonight we are getting together to play games! Should be fun!

Tomorrow is going to be a special rehearsal.