Today was the first day I was able to bring in the beautiful masks that Water Works Theatre Company is loaning to our group for their performance. We spent some time at the beginning of the session looking through the masks and trying them on. The women love them and expressed a deep appreciation that they are being loaned to us. Having the masks there proved to be a big morale boost after the challenges we discussed during the last session. Those who had expressed doubts last time made sure we all knew that they are feeling better after our conversation.
We spent the rest of the time working on Act I Scene i. We have some new participants since the last time we worked it, and we were also a little rusty on the decisions we had made at that time, so it proved to be somewhat time consuming, but very constructive. The group continues to come up with fantastic staging ideas that come out of their deep understanding and ownership of the material. They decided that the model ship should be on stage with the curtain closed behind it as the audience enters. At the top of the show, Prospero and Ariel will enter from either side, Ariel will hand the ship to Prospero, and Prospero will “create” the storm. The participants on the other side of the curtain will provide sound effects. Eventually Prospero will laugh, giving one participant her cue to pull the curtain open, revealing the boatswain struggling to maintain control of the steering wheel, which we are miming.
Everyone had great energy beginning to commit to the physicality of being on a boat in a storm, and their ideas for how and when to move, and how to exit, were also fantastic. This is going to be a wonderful, high energy beginning to the performance, and they all are feeling confident in what they have accomplished.