Tonight’s class marks the beginning of week three. It feels like we are starting to get settled back into our routine and the semester ahead is taking shape. We started class off with a dance party provided by facilitator Braden, a little T. Swift and some Katy Perry which our actors always love. After some healthy dancing Elizabeth led us in a warm up. We got a new twist on a favorite of the Able ensemble, the shake out. We start with the right arm and shake it out as we count down from eight. Then the left arm and then each leg. Elizabeth added the hips to the order which was a fun core invigorator. Now that we were nice and warm we moved on to the check in question. In preparation for meeting the Spirit of Christmas Present we asked, “What is your favorite Christmas present?” Claire decided that she would like some headphones. Andrew really just wanted a party with all his friends.
Next on the board was our ensemble game. This is one I don’t remember playing in a while but our actors remembered it well. It is called Yes! With this game we focus on eye contact, really connecting with your partner and being supportive of your partner by saying YES. We make a circle and someone stands in the middle. They pick a partner, make eye contact and then point to them. The chosen partner responds with “Yes” and then takes their place in the middle of the circle. Andrew was the first to volunteer and knew the game well; everyone took to it like a good ensemble.
With a strong sense of ensemble we moved to revisiting our characters for the play. We played the game Here to There. Like the title of the game implies we simply move from one end of the room to the other. For the first few trips we moved from here to there leading with one part of the body, like the head or the elbow. Next we moved while consumed with a single emotion. Our first one was happy, besides laughing how does one physicalize happiness? How does it affect the way that you move? Finally we moved through the rehearsal space as the different characters. This was a chance to not only recall the different aspects of each character but to also start making choices about how these characters move. A lot of times when creating a character just understanding the way they move can inform so many other choices. Tiny Tim is sick but also very grateful for his family and optimistic, how does this change his movement? Anna made some exciting choices for Tim. Emily laughed her way across the room as a very happy Fezziwig. When I called out Cratchit both Sam R. and Andrew began typing (they knew all about Cratchit’s work ethic). After exploring the characters in free space in was time to visit them in the world of the play.
Last week we left off in the middle of scene three. Scrooge was with the Spirit of Christmas Past and had just revisited the day his sister came to visit him and bring him home. Lucy stepped into the role of Scrooge and Sam into the role of the Spirit of Christmas Past. Sam took Lucy to Fezziwig’s (Andrew’s) factory where he and his wife (Emily) were throwing his employees a Christmas party. Sam then took Lucy to see Claire as young Scrooge and Colleen as Belle have a heart breaking moment in the park.
Tonight we had our first introduction to the music that we will be singing. We started by listening to a beautiful a cappella arrangement of Carol of the Bells, Ben was riveted. Kaylie then taught us a few different parts of the song that we will be singing in the round. I can’t wait to hear it all come together. Finally it was time to check out with the question, “What is your favorite Character?” Colleen loves the beautiful Belle and Sam R. likes mean old Scrooge. Speaking of our birthday boy Sam he led us in I Take and we all headed home. We are off next week but after a break we will reconvene to finish the story.