Tonight, we began watching a film version of The Taming of the Shrew, chosen specifically because its approach is similar to the ensemble’s. We did not get through the entire film and will finish it next Tuesday (since more people are usually present on Tuesdays).
It was a lot of fun to watch. In particular, we all loved the physicality, the energy, the big and humorous performances, the touches like leaning every time someone said Pisa, or sighing every time the name Bianca was spoken. We are definitely going to want to find those moments and that vocabulary for our Shrew.
We did some solid scene work today on Act III Scene I, in which Lucentio and Hortensio tag time their wooing of Bianca. As a team, we worked out a very humorous and effective entrance (absolutely rooted in our interpretations of these characters), and we clarified what each person in the scene wants.
Our Bianca (who is newer to the role) was hesitant to “do” very much in the scene because she wasn’t sure how her character felt about Hortensio. She felt torn: is Bianca even slightly interested, or is she already in love with Lucentio? I encouraged her to make a decision either way, for the sake of rehearsal, and to embrace the possibility that it might not work. We need to allow ourselves to make mistakes in rehearsal so that we can find the things that do work. With that, she decided to try the scene as if she were not interested in Hortensio at all, and she found that this is a comfortable approach for her.
We then spent some time just running lines, which may be what the bulk of our remaining Thursdays will be used for – school and work commitments often make for low attendance. Several individuals are making good progress toward having their lines memorized, while others are feeling more challenged. We went over some tips and made sure to encourage and uplift those who are a bit overwhelmed.