We continued our chronological review of the play today with Act I Scene ii. We focused on Prospero’s story. When we first started exploring this scene, one participant had the idea that if spirits of the island were to act out the story in pantomime while Prospero told it, it would help the audience understand what he was saying. After choosing from the masks to determine which one fit each character best, we began exploring how to do this. We explored different types of movement for each character based on how the mask worked with each participant’s physicality. After some initial hesitation, they realized how moving while wearing a mask is different from moving normally, and they embraced it.
We all worked as a team to figure out how to translate Prospero’s lines physically, and, while it was time consuming, we ended up with a very powerful pantomime. Every group member present made some sort of contribution, many of which were better than what I was coming up with in my head.
We will review the pantomime and add one or two more details to it next time, and then we will plow forward with the rest of the play. Today was a very positive day.