We were able to follow through on our plan today, performing the fight for members of the group who weren’t at the last session. The woman who played Romeo on Thursday was not present today, so a woman who had watched and coached the scene took her place. The woman who had played Benvolio suddenly felt awkward, so I took over that part. It’s always been an important aspect of the group that we don’t force people to perform if they’re truly uncomfortable, so I didn’t mind subbing in.
The scene still worked remarkably well. The people who were not there on Thursday, including Matt and Molly, talked about how good the pacing was and how clear most of the relationships were. They were also very impressed by the ability of the woman who played Romeo to jump in, which was due to her being physically present and paying close attention last time.
We moved on to analyze the rest of this scene. A major discussion took place surrounding Benvolio’s monologue, as some of the women felt that he was throwing Romeo under the bus. It turned out that nearly everyone had a different interpretation here for why he tells the story the way he does. Is he telling it in a truly impartial way to the Prince? Not really. Is he guilty that he didn’t get more involved? Is he defending himself from punishment? I honestly have never given that much thought to this piece, and that’s part of what I love about working with Shakespeare with these women – they each have such a unique perspective on the material and are so willing to share and discuss.
There was some conflict at the end of the last session, and we spent the beginning of this one touching base to make sure that we are able to move forward as a group and be just as strong as ever. All of the women had constructive input and are confident that the group will continue to thrive.
We reviewed the “party scene” today for clarification’s sake. The dynamics in this scene are incredibly important and definitely merited another look. We talked about the anger expressed by Tybalt and Capulet and the possibilities for where it comes from and how it surfaces. We worked on Romeo’s worship of Juliet the moment he sees her, and then we talked a lot about the Nurse. How does she always seem to know what’s going on? The group settled on that she is a snoop and loves drama. The woman reading the Nurse further speculated that she could be drunk in this scene. Working with that, we found a lot of comedy and further justification for the knowledge she has throughout the scene.
We ran the scene with no stops, and it worked very well. Today was a good day for regrouping, refocusing, and continuing to explore.