November 16, 2012

A couple of new participants joined us today, so we spent some time going over the group guidelines, what we’ve been up to, what we hope to do, and what the “newbies” hope to get out of and bring to the group. Throughout the day, they were very willing to participate in what we were doing, putting their initial shyness aside to have fun and offer opinions and ideas. We began with warm ups, a favorite quick-thinking game, and a very silly circle game to get everyone loosened up and show the new people that it’s okay to be goofy. It was great.

The group then decided to read through the contemporary English summary of The Tempest that I provided them to catch up the new participants. They added details as we went through it.

Then they decided that they wanted to begin casting the show, since many of them already have favorite characters, rather than having everyone experiment with different characters. I prefer to let decisions like this be made by group consensus, especially when they all agree, and they did in this case. So we began to list which person is interested in each character. Some people chose only one, while others left themselves open to fill in anywhere. One woman does not feel drawn to any characters yet. I asked them all to spend some more time with the play and see if they could find at least three characters with which they would be happy. I also asked them to start thinking about how they would cast the play as a whole, since there are multiple people interested in certain characters, and we’ll need to make some decisions as a group.

We’ve been doing a lot of talking lately, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but I know that many of them are itching to get back on their feet. I hope that we’ll be able to do that in the next session.