Thursday, June 5, 2008

"All the World"

This week has seen a continuance in the shift from table work to staging/blocking rehearsals. Now that the casts have explored the meaning and purpose of all their scenes, it's time to begin to take those scenes into the spaces they eventually will occupy ... setting where to stand, which way to move, when to turn, etc. There is not as much focus on character development as there will be in weeks to come; these blocking rehearsals are for orientation purposes first and foremost. This process comes with its own set of discoveries and challenges, including unforseen ones such as power outages in the theatre caused by severe storms!

Part of a rehearsal for The Bluest Water was even conducted by cell-phone illumination.

Of the two productions, Romeo and Juliet is being rehearsed in a space that, for the most part, already exists as it will be needed at the opening of the show. It is now that the cast can begin familiarizing themselves with the area in which they have to play a scene and to begin to get accustomed to the change in natural lighting as the evening progresses.
The Romeo and Juliet team discusses the placement of Tybalt and how the action must move around him.

Most of the placement/action in Romeo and Juliet has been determined well-in-advance by the director, and these rehearsals give the actors a chance to make notes and begin to learn the blocking. However, these valuable afternoons and evenings also provide the director the chance to see what adjustments he'll have to make due to the differences between planning the movements on paper and executing them in real space.

Romeo and Benvolio learn where to move in the moon- (and lamp-) light.

Rehearsals for The Bluest Water are taking place on a stage that will be undergoing a lot of change between now and the opening. The set and furniture are yet to be established, but the intended locations are marked, so the staging of the scenes for this production currently takes place in as specific an area as possible within the generalized space.

Director Geoff Kershner explains the general action that is to happen during a scene.

Just as the script for The Bluest Water has been undergoing changes, the directions the characters are moving and the actions they're performing are in flux as well. Multiple different orientations of one scene (or even the action on one line) may be examined in order to find what currently works best for the production. As the weeks go on, just as the changes to the script will become less and less significant, the adjustments to staging will get tighter and tighter as the space takes its shape.

The actors are able to provide input regarding the blocking just as they are for the script.

In a few days, a general outline of staging for both plays will have been put to paper for all involved. It is necessary for as much of the basic placement and action to already exist as early in the process as possible so that they become second nature. The groundwork has been laid, and the fine-tuning (manifested by the deep exploration found in "work-throughs") can begin. Everyone is anxious to see what will develop as they work towards finding their characters and ridding their hands of their scripts!

Jared M Anderson
Endstation Blogger

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