Written by Matthew
We covered three scenes of Act IV today, working quickly through dialogue and Juliet’s soliloquy.
There was a significant delay getting in. When I walked into the space, the women were just finishing warmups, and were ready to go.
Juliet and Lady Capulet wanted very badly to check some numbers off our list of unrehearsed scenes. We realized last week that we had not rehearsed most of Act IV, so that seemed a logical place to start. Beginning with Act IV, scene ii, we ran through the night of Juliet’s apparent death. The scenes almost run together, as she seemingly acquiesces to her father’s wishes, contemplates her future, and drinks the potion that puts her to sleep.
We spent a lot of time working on the tone for Juliet’s soliloquy, in which she worries about the consequences of taking the potion. The speech begins with concrete fears—will she know where she is? Will she be alone?—and ends with fantastical fears of her relatives rising like zombies from the grave to tear at her body. Juliet initially wanted to cut the speech down, but realized after inspecting the lines that it really needed to be full-length.
The morning after Juliet takes the potion, the nurse and her parents find her. The hardest thing for the women to do was to specify their reactions to the sight. Instead of reflexively wailing and running about, the women in the audience encouraged our characters to develop a reaction specific to their persona. Lady Capulet withdraws. Capulet worries about the public consequences. The nurse runs to find medical supplies and blankets and pillows—anything to help.
Though our work today was short, we tackled a large section of text, and took a step closer to completing our first-round rehearsals of the play.
Written by Sarah
We began the rehearsal with a further discussion of costumes props and set design. The first decision was that our backdrop would be painted black with gold lettering. We decided the words on the backdrop will come from our "word storm". So we word-stormed... The ensemble called out words which Romeo and I wrote on the chalk board. The words and phrases included lines from the play, and themes and ideas that resonate for them. Some words and phrases from our word storm...
Star Crossed Lovers
One moment can change a life
Love at first sight
Til Death do us part
Two houses both alike…
After our word storm we returned to costume ideas. It was decided that the Montagues’ color will be green, the Capulets’ purple, and all others will be gold. Our Juliet also volunteered to create a props list and be in charge of props.
After adding some costume elements to the wish list we warmed up our voices and bodies and our sense of ensemble and play. We did stretches, tongue twisters, and Theater games.
Then we got down to script work. Being without our Friar Lawrence, the ensemble has cast a new actress in the role. We worked on Act II Scene IV with Romeo and our new Friar. We also worked briefly on the wedding scene with Romeo, Juliet, and the Friar. The ensemble had strong ideas of how the scenes should play (being used to the actress who had been in the role). They gave a lot of direction but were also wonderfully supportive of the new actress and quite sincerely encouraged her to "make the role her own.”
This week we worked hard on OBJECTIVES. The ensemble worked together to figure out what people wanted from each other in the scene. When the actors started playing their objectives (in other words - worked to get what they want) we all noted how beautifully the scene grew. The whole ensemble is thrilled with where the scene is now and so proud of the actors for the hard work they did. They were effusive in their praise for their cast members. As we reflected at the end of rehearsal, I asked the cast to commit to deciding on their objectives for their roles in each scene they play.
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