We are so excited to get back into class this Friday at The Menomonee Club and start rehearsals for our NINTH stage production. We wish we could tell you more about it, but, well, the thing is, it hasn't been written yet...
This semester we'll be dividing our full ensemble of 20 into smaller groups of 5 and each team will devise their own story around the central theme of identity. Each week's lesson will focus on a different element of storytelling (characters/relationships, setting, stakes/conflict, resolution). We'll play games and do exercises in large and small groups and then meet with our teams to build our stories week by week. This first week we'll do some ensemble building, draft our ensemble contracts, and start talking about characters.
All of this is in preparation for Spring 2016 when we'll produce our 5th Shakespeare production: Twelfth Night. For those unfamiliar with this classic comedy, there are many instances of mistaken identity, hidden identity, and people pretending to be someone they are not. We hope that our work this semester will help our actors to better understand and identify with all of the mix-ups and confusion that happens in the land of Illyria.
This isn't the first time our actors have written their own pieces. For 2013's Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On..., each actor paired with a facilitator or teaching artist and created scenes answering the question "What would you do if you had magic for one day?". We wound up with 16 incredibly unique pieces. You can see some of our magic moments in this montage:
The big difference for this semester is that rather than having complete creative control over their own pieces, all of our actors will need to collaborate and work together with their partners. We'll be building on the big lesson from our summer improv workshop: SAY YES!
Say tuned to the blog for weekly class updates, photos, and videos so you can chart our progress. And be sure to save the date for our big performance DECEMBER 12 at 3pm at Victory Gardens Theatre.