We made it! Week 10! This was our last class of the semester at Menomonee Club. All of our cast, volunteers, and teaching staff joined together in the large dance studio to do a full run-through of the entire show.
Before class, our teaching artists and facilitators spent a lot of time organizing props and costumes. Offstage, each actor has a designated chair with his/her headshot taped to the back, as well as a journal and crayon to keep them occupied while other scenes are going on. Each side of the stage also has a prop table with spots for each costume piece or prop. We tape out squares on the table so it's clear where every piece goes. This helps us to keep track of items during the show, and it also makes it very obvious if a piece has gone missing!
No class would be complete without a dance party. We grooved “Everything is Awesome” from The LEGO movie, “Problem” by Ariana Grande, and our final dance party song for the semester was “ABC” by The Jackson 5.
Katie led warm ups this week. First our physical warm up focused on our spines and all the ways our spines can move – we arched, curled, spiraled from side to side, and side arched with nice by stretches. Then we moved on to waking up our faces – we did massages and started to speak focusing on all the parts of our face that help us articulate – “The Tip of the Tongue, The Teeth, The Lips”. From there, we did a big tongue twister “WE SPEAK THE WORDS WE WANT THE WORLD TO HEAR!” After a Shake Countdown, we were ready get going.
There was a lot going on this week, so we took a moment to make sure everyone was on the same page. We had two guests in class this week – Jennice’s sister, Jade, was visiting from out of town, and a journalist, Delia, came to watch our rehearsal for a piece she’s writing about A.B.L.E.. This week, The Lemons and Limes stayed together and we did a run-through of the whole show start to finish with costumes and props. This was the first time we’ve put all the pieces together in order, so we needed the whole ensemble to LISTEN, FOCUS, KEEP HANDS TO OURSELVES (including props!), DO OUR BEST, and HAVE FUN!
Throughout the semester, our 4 groups have worked together to come up with characters, settings, relationships, and objectives to create these original stories. All of them focus on the central theme of identity and involve someone discovering or revealing something special about themselves. Actors had to work together to incorporate everyone’s ideas into the final pieces, and also voted on a theme song for the scene. So, it’s not surprising that the stories themselves all seem to have a common theme of teamwork and cooperation. We don’t want to give too much away about the show. Suffice to say, our run-through went really well, and we have one more rehearsal to make it even better! Here’s our “set-list” for the show:
The Blackberries Present: “Wait…I Can Help!”
This scene takes place in an airport, on an airplane, and in the desert and features Fletcher, Natalia, Emily L, Sam R, and Marissa with a special cameo from teaching artist, Lawrence! What’s special about all of these characters? How do they wind up in the desert? Do they want to be there? Join us to find out!
The Banapples Present: “SlamDANCE Superheroes”
This scene follows Quincy as a Dance Instructor training a troupe of Superheroes (Claire, Andrew, and Ben) as they prepare for a dance competition at Radio City Music Hall with a special trip to a Disney Cruise Ship inbetween. What are their super powers? What song are they dancing to? How do they get from the Disney Cruise Ship to Radio City Music Hall?
The Oranges Present: “Frozen…for REAL!”
We open on a film set where Rachel, Jack, Alena, and Samuel all play movie stars making a special film. An on-set accident lands some of them in the hospital where it’s up to Doctor Emily to save the day. Who are the movie stars? What’s the accident? What can Doctor Emily do?
The Strawberries Present: “Where’s the Werewolf?”
There’s trouble in Queen Colleen’s Kingdom as a Werewolf (Sam P) has been heard howling and scaring the town. Colleen enlists her talking cat (Mila), Ghost (Lucas), and a local Singing Mom (Lucy) to hunt the creature from the Palace to the Swamp, and eventually to the local high school. Will they catch the werewolf? There's only one way to find out! You'll have to come see the show!
We didn't have time to practice our big song and dance this week, but have been working hard on it throughout the semester and are confident it will look awesome in the theatre!
This was the first time the Lemons and Limes got to see each other’s scenes and loved cheering each other on and laughing at each other’s jokes. While they weren’t onstage, we also had our actors autograph posters so that each ensemble member and volunteer will get a special keepsake.
We started our run-through at 6:50 and, with some stops and starts, managed to make it through all of the scenes and monologues by 8:10pm which was a big accomplishment! We estimate the finished show will be around 75 minutes.
We circled up and gave ourselves a big pat on the back for all of the hard work we’ve done throughout the semester and at the run-through. After reviewing the schedule for next week, it was time for our traditional closing…
I Take From the Heavens!
After class, our teaching artists and facilitators went out for a celebratory meal together. This is a tradition when we finish up each semester; they go over any script changes, rehearsal notes, and final details before the big show, and congratulate each other for all of their hard work and commitment during the semester.