Monday, June 2, 2008

We burn daylight, ho!

Geoff broached the subject yesterday, but I'm going to elaborate a bit more on the trials and triumphs of outdoor R&J rehearsals. So far, we've been able to have two successful blocking rehearsals in The Space.
Bill explaining The Space to Jared and Michael.

Now, The Space: technically speaking (from an actor's point of view, though, so actorically speaking?), The Space is taxing. Being outside means hardly any reverberation--projection becomes a heavy burden. Besides the lack of acoustics, there are outside noises to figure into the picture; suddenly, the calming rush of the fountain and the cheerily chirping birds are hassles, not enjoyments--every rustle of the trees means your diaphragm is working harder. There are tree limbs at or lower than head-level of a majority of the cast. There is no offstage: you are either in character or out of character, but always in the audience's sight. We burn daylight (ho!), and I mean it in this sense: 
The show starts in this light:
And then gets like this:
And then gets dark (not pictured). 

Now, there are a few sources of light for when the sun decides to set and the lighting is actually fairly impressive as is, when you consider that none of it was designed to highlight an ongoing theatrical production. But I often find myself wondering if we'll be adding more light--if it will even be needed--and if so, how we'll go about that.

The unpredictability of The Space is both invigorating and terrifying. There is no set...well, mindset for The Space; each day is a new mental realignment. However, Geoff was right--I can't imagine trying to rehearse in a room now, instead of the vastness that is The Space.  There would be no way to legitimately get our blocking down, because The Space would be so much different. That said, let's hope for good weather, so that we can continue blocking scenes (like this next clip) outside.

1 comment:

Will Shakespeare said...

You guys have more than one rehearsal for blocking? That is a real luxury. When we put it on for the first time at the Curtain in 1594, Burbage allowed one rehearsal - basically just enter in this door and exit in this door. I well remember the fight scene with Paris, we had a new young actor in the role and he was getting all excited about his sword fight - when it came time to block the fight, Burbage told him three directions, stand there, stay out of my way and fall down when I tell you to. Burbage was such a ham! And the audience thought he was some sort of god. Well, one may smile and smile and be a villain.