This semester is flying by! Today was the penultimate class before we move into the theatre. Our scenes are shaping up, our costumes are all coming together, and we’re just finessing our performances. Here’s what we worked on today...
Kate was this week’s dance party DJ. We had lots of fun dancing to songs like “Bang Bang” and Pharrell’s “Happy”. We had conga lines, lots of clapping, and even some break-dancing. Everyone was reluctant to let it end, but we had to circle up and start working!
Katie led this week’s warm up. We did some deep, centered breathing.
Then we brought some awareness to our bodies with a Puppet exercise loosely based on one from Krisin Linklater. You can try it with us:
- Stand tall, imagine there’s a puppet string at the top of your head, pulling you up to the ceiling.
- Next, imagine strings on your elbows. Let them float up towards the ceiling and hang from your elbows.
- Then, imagine puppet strings on your wrists. Let them pull you up.
- Finally, imagine all 10 of your fingertips floating toward the ceiling and allow your whole torso to be stretched from above.
- Now, do one thing and one thing only: let your hands relax and hang from your wrists.
- Cut the strings on your wrists, and hang from your elbows.
- Cut your elbow strings and let your arms drop heavily and hang loosely. It should feel like a big relief!
- Then, cut the string at the top of your head and roll down through your spine hanging to the floor.
- From there, there’s a string on your tailbone. Stay loose in your knees, arms and neck, and just hang from your tailbone. Imagine someone is pulling that string up and down and bounce a bit.
- Focus on your tailbone, and then start to re-stack the bones of your spine one at a time all the way to standing.
From there we added some sound to our movement. We went joint by joint from the ankles, knees, hips, torso, arms, and neck moving our joints and giving a different sound to each movement. We put all of this together as one big siren going from low to high. Once we found the middle of our voices, we finished with a good Shake Countdown!
From there, it was time to review the schedule for the day. Last week we ran through our full scenes, next week, we have to do another full run-through. Today was dedicated to troubleshooting and BLOCKING. We reviewed our ensemble rules (Listen, Focus, Keep Hands to Yourself, Do Your Best, and HAVE FUN!) and then split into Lemons and Limes to start working.
Stage Manager Says
You might remember this game from Week 7. This game helps us review our stage directions, and also work on listening skills, and reaction time. The stage manager calls out all different cues “girl stage right…boys stage left…oranges centerstage…cast offstage…” and the ensemble has to respond accordingly. It’s awesome to see how well our cast know their stage directions, but, even better, is seeing how they help each other to get to the right spot, encourage each other and try to move as a team.
From there we moved on to scenework. Each scene has a few moments that require some tricky blocking. The Banapples have a slow motion moment, and also a big coordinated costume change that needs to happen onstage. The Strawberries have a Scooby-Doo style chase scene. The Oranges have to coordinate a few big switches of characters and locations. And the Blackberries have to make an airplane! These are big jobs, so we spent some time doing extra practice and making sure everyone is familiar with these basic moves.
After several weeks putting together different lines of our monologues, today, our actors got to practice doing their full speech. Every monologue follows the same basic format:
My Name Is_____
I AM ____________
I CAN ___________
I LOVE __________
It's awesome to see everyone take a moment to talk about themselves and share what matters to them. This will be a really special part of our performance.
The Limes practiced their monologues first, and then switched out with the Lemons.
When they weren’t working on monologues, our groups worked with Kendra and Peter to review music and choreography for the big mash up. As singers, we’re always working on articulation and dynamics. As movers, we’re working on timing so it looks like we’re all moving at the same time.
At 7:50, everybody joined back together in the large dance studio, and we ran through our big song with choreography. When it’s all put together, the whole number is over 4 minutes long. It’s sounding great and we can’t wait to share it with everyone at the big show!
There’s no class this Friday since we’ll all still be digesting dinner. We reviewed our plans for our next class on December 4th (a full run-through with costumes!). We also had a lot of birthdays to celebrate: Alena (11/17), Natalia (11/22), Rachel (11/29). These three gals led the group in our traditional call-and-response-closing.
I Take from the Heavens….
If you’ve ever wondered what “I Take from the Heavens” looks and sounds like, here’s a quick video showing our cast on the last day of filming The Curse of the Tempest Jewel. This week marks one year since we wrapped principle photography on The Curse of the Tempest Jewel, so it’s the perfect time to share this special clip: