Tonight we conducted an oral interview with the group for our case study. I can’t publish the interviews here, but they were extremely insightful.
We also briefly discussed auditions and casting again. The group is in agreement on our method, sides have been distributed, and we will begin working with them on Friday.
Tonight one of the women pulled me aside to talk about concerns she is having about her daughter. She has a life sentence and is trying to cope with feelings of helplessness where her child is concerned. It hit home for me, as a mother, very hard. She apologized for “burdening” me, and I reassured her that it is no burden – that I’m there to listen to and support everyone in the group.
We spent our evening rehearsing the sides we’ll use for our auditions. We focused on the basics – identifying what the character wants (the objective) and how to go after it (the tactics). We also tried to find appropriate movement and delved slightly into vocal techniques.
Two different women read the scene in which Clarence meets Richard on his way to the Tower. Their interpretations were vastly different. The first played him as trusting in his brothers to do the right thing, while the second interpreted him as being feisty and angry. Both of these takes worked on their feet. It will be very interesting to see where we end up once the role is cast.
One of the women showcased an impression she does of me when I’m about to do a monologue. That got a lot of laughs. I do some kind of weird acting prep, and I don’t hold back in order to give others “permission” to do whatever they need to do. It is funny, though, and she does the impression very well. At first, this ensemble member, working on Richard’s opening soliloquy, was very focused on objects in the room that she was miming. We encouraged her to let go of that. Another longtime ensemble member reminded her not to judge her character, and I asked her to work with the objective of getting us (the audience) on her side. Her subsequent reading was electrifying. Whether she is cast in the role remains to be seen, but it was a very strong performance.
The woman who read Richard had envisioned the scene taking place in a bedchamber, but, because Clarence enters with an armed guard, en route to imprisonment, it would be tough to justify the scene happening in a setting like that. One of the women said she envisioned the curtain opening at the top of the show to reveal Richard sitting in a chair. Some in the group feel that that would work and could still be set outside.
This led to a brief conversation about the locations in the play. Strangely, there are no locations noted in the “No Fear” copy of the play that the women are working with, although there are in the Arden version that I always have with me. We talked about changing locations, and even time period, and what the perks and the pitfalls of that can be.
We ended by deciding to continue rehearsing sides on Tuesday, with auditions and casting next Friday.