June 22, 2012

Today we warmed up, playing a silly game to loosen up and get present in our bodies. We went over our script, first of all, to make sure everyone approved of the order of the scenes and monologues, and of the narration I wrote to get us from one to the other. There were a few questions, but we got it nailed down. They are very enthusiastic about putting everything together.

We then plugged the last participant without a scene into the scene with Juliet and the Nurse, which we were all hoping she would like. After we went through it a few times, the scene really took off, with Juliet becoming increasingly bratty and impatient, and the Nurse increasingly dramatic and over the top. It was really fun to watch, and the actresses thoroughly enjoyed it. The one to whom we just gave the part of Juliet lit up and was clearly excited about the part.

Next we worked Hermione’s monologue with a participant who missed the last couple of sessions. She said that things have not been going well for her, and she hasn’t really worked on the piece at all, but that she still has it somewhat memorized. It was very clear that she was rusty, but she is still very familiar at least with the words. As we worked it more, she fell back into it, gaining confidence and power. She is so great. We all love watching her perform.

Then we worked the Duke Frederick/Rosalind/Celia scene with one participant standing in for one who was absent, playing Celia. This went very well – it got more physical and the participant playing Rosalind, the same working on Hermione, who has been absent, did great at increasing her boldness standing up to the Duke each time we worked it. The participant standing in for Celia had a great time as well – she really likes the character. And the participant playing Duke Frederick is becoming more comfortable with her character’s anger. This scene is developing quite nicely.

Then we worked one of our Antonys, who has the piece just about memorized. She asked if she could begin the piece walking onstage rather than beginning from a static, standing position. She tried it that way, and it worked very well. The other Antony decided that she would do the same thing, but would enter from the opposite side – their pieces are book-ending the showcase, so this will be a nice touch. The Antony we were working first, then, tried doing the piece with me on book for her. She did a really great job – she’s almost there. Her whole physicality was lighter when she left the stage.

Then the other Antony gave hers a whirl walking on with it. She decided that she liked it a lot. She’s starting to play with the language a bit, and is getting much better about keeping with her energy even when she messes up the lines. I’m so proud of her. She’s come a long way.

We then discussed the monologues in which participants have other actresses onstage with them. We decided that we need to decide on one permanent “stand in” and on alternate so there is some consistency there. We will work on that in the coming sessions.