Ready to Rock!

It’s here! It’s here! Today is our first official day of rehearsals for Twelfth Night and we can’t wait to get started. A lot of work happens before we can let loose at dance party. Here's a recap of our busy weekend preparations:


Friday – Parent Meeting

Lawrence shows off his storyboards for Spy Who Knew Me to Jodee

Every semester before classes begin, we have a short info meeting with our actor’s parents and our teaching staff. It’s wonderful to meet face to face to answer any questions, go over the rehearsal schedule, and make sure everyone is on the same page. This semester, for the first time, we have classes on two different nights, so we had a lot to discuss with that switch. Katie talked over all the details for Twelfth Night, Lawrence went over plans for The Spy Who Knew Me (fundraiser starts next week!),  and we also got to meet two of our new volunteers – Alanna and Ariel (you’ll meet them on the Friday Spotlight soon).

For those of you who don’t live in the Chicago area, you should know that the weather on Friday night was nuts. Though it was unseasonably warm, there were powerful gale force winds which were so strong that they blew the windows out of some office buildings down town. we’re exceptionally grateful to everyone who braved the weather and joined us!

Sunday – Facilitator Meeting

To help our actors learn the story, we have posters for each of the major characters with some of their character traits, and of course, who they fall in love with or marry during the play

Beth as Viola (in disguise as Cesario, clearly) with Peter as Orsino during the Play Plot

We have an awesome team of volunteers and teaching artists who make our classes possible. While our teaching artists attend every single class, our facilitators rotate in and out as their schedule permits. It’s rare to get the entire team all together, but that’s what we did on Sunday!

Kendra and Peter lead music rehearsal for our teaching staff and volunteers. 

We went over some business details, reviewed some scheduling questions, brainstormed exercises (Sean made up a great one that we’ll be using for character reviews!), and talked through the plan to get us to the final performance. Katie led everyone through the Play Plot activity for act 1. Everyone is assigned a different character, and as the narrator reads out the story, each character hops in and pantomimes their part. After that, Kendra and Peter taught us the big group musical numbers that will open and close our show. Peter wrote original music for "Hey Ho The Wind and the Rain" and we have a group line dance planned to make use of the beautiful thrust stage at Chicago Shakes. To see a sneak peek, follow us on Instagram!

In between these meetings, Katie and Kendra have been busy making classroom displays and taking care of administrative duties. We have headshot boards, new vocabulary cards, and a whole bunch of character posters and visual aids to help make our classroom fun and accessible. All the pieces are in place and we are ready to rock this week! 





With the Monday/Friday split, we’ll have a lot more information to share with you each week. The Monday blog post will continue to be rehearsal updates and class stories (watch for some facilitator guest posts this semester), and Fridays will Spotlight all the different members of our ensemble – actors, facilitators, and teaching artists. Be sure to check our Facebook and Instagram for photos and videos, and exclusive content. We can’t wait to share this journey with you and hope you’re as excited as we are to get up on that big stage at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre!