Friday, May 13, 2011

Report from Bad Bad Island.......

The official rehearsals for the 2011 Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival commenced at 10am this past Wednesday morning with the first rehearsal for Good Good Trouble on Bad Bad Island. This show for young audiences was written by resident playwright Josh Mikel, and first debuted at the 2010 NYC Fringe Festival (read a report on that experience here), and we are excited to bring the show to Virginia as part of this year's season!! (have you got your tickets yet?)

The cast all gathered in the lobby of Babcock Theatre on the campus of Sweet Briar College for a few minutes before heading down to the rehearsal room where we will be spending a lot of time over the next few weeks. Walter, who plays the character of the Idol in the show and our "captain" for this first week was taking care of some last minute details and soon joined us. There were hugs all around and we settled down at the table for our first day of play...ahem....I mean "work".

We went around the table, introduced ourselves and named the characters we would be playing. The majority of us all know each other and have worked on shows together before, and any new faces joined in easily, so it made perfect sense that we all fell into sync with one another pretty quickly. 

We read through the entire script and had a ball doing so, we were cracking each other up as we heard our fellow cast mates bring these characters to life. Already we could see that we were going to have so much fun putting this show together and then have the privilege to share with audience members shortly.  Once we read through the script, we went back to the beginning and started to work through it page by page, scene by scene and brainstorming along the way. Someone would mention one idea which would spark a thought from someone else, and soon we were really cookin' and ideas were flying everywhere.

Soon it was time for lunch and we all headed over to the campus dining hall to eat together, followed by a short break and then we all gathered back together in the afternoon to work some more. By the end of the first day we all were looking forward to getting the show "on it's feet" in the rehearsals to come and were excited about what the next days would bring.

Thursday morning came and we began to work out the blocking (ie. where everyone is supposed to be on stage when) for each scene. As we began to move around the rehearsal space one could begin to see more glimpses of these characters starting to peek through. We we able to use some of the props that we had on hand and with each element added we began to get more comfortable. Walter was a wonderful guiding force for all of us and it was a very collaborative environment to work in. We would try one way and if it didn't work we re-adjust and try again. Everyone was in great spirits and happy to be working on this special show.

By the end of Thursday we were a little tired, but a good tired, knowing that we had accomplished a lot. Friday rolled around and we jumped right back in picking up where we had left off and blocking the rest of the show. Everything was going so well that by the afternoon we were able to do what we call a rough "stumble through" of the show, where we basically do just that.....stumble through the entire show with scripts in hand if we need them and pausing if we needed to clarify where we are on stage, or other details.

By the end we knew that we still have a lot of work to do, but we were really encouraged by the fact that we had come this far in the short time that we have been working. Our captain gave us a rousing speech and said he was happy with where things were, that he appreciated all of us, that it had been easy to work with everyone, and we were where we needed to be......we could feel the love.

We are excited to be able to show what we have done so far to our fearless director, Geoff who will join us for our next rehearsal. Geoff and Walter had done a lot of prep work with this show and were in constant communication this week. All of their efforts definitely paid off as we had a clear picture of how things were supposed to run, and we seemed to hit our goals. We are all anticipating next week and looking forward to continuing to tighten up the show and take it to the next level.

This is a fabulous cast and a wonderful group of people, and I hope that you get the chance to come out and join us for one of the performances taking place June 1-5. Vist the endstation website for more details and to purchase tickets, because you won't want to miss this one!

Good Good Trouble on Bad Bad Island Cast

Idol: Walter Kmiec
Rosa: Jessica Mansfield
Hal: George Carruth
Chomps: Maria Hayden
Delmer/Rocker/Doots: Aaron Farr
Turtle/Spiderskoonk: Melissa Porcaro
Walrus/Garbeldunk/Larry: Sergio Soltero

Till next time~

Company Manager

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