This was a big week for our ensemble. After spending the first several weeks of class learning all of the characters and events in TWELFTH NIGHT, this week our ensemble got the chance to audition for their favorite roles. Each actor picked their 3 favorite characters, and took turns sharing lines and showing off their characterizations to prove they were the best for the role. You can see how auditions work in this clip featuring some of our Monday ensemble members, and read on to get a full update of week 6 of rehearsals for Shakespeare 400 Chicago!
Monday Recap (by Ariel Hartman)
Time flew by this week! After a fun dance party and warm ups led by Alanna (where we got to do Lion face/Lemon face again!), we had a great check-in where we discussed our favorite parts of the field trip to see Short Shakespeare: Twelfth Night at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Some of our favorite parts were Malvolio chasing Cesario on the little bike, the scenes when everybody falls in love, any scenes where Malvolio gets tricked or imprisoned, and of course, the big duel between Sir Andrew and Cesario!
After check-in, we played a quick game of Whoosh-Whoa, followed by a few fun rounds of "Here to There" where we embodied our favorite Twelfth Night characters in preparation for auditions! It was great to walk back and forth across the rooms as a few different characters since we were able to audition for a total of three different roles, and sometimes, those three roles had a lot more differences than similarities!
Finally, it was time for auditions! Even though we were a little nervous, we were all extremely well prepared, having clearly looked over all the character descriptions and audition lines from our packets the past couple weeks. But since we know that we're all going to be playing multiple different parts throughout the show, we're not worried about which characters we'll get- we all did a great job and will all bring something different and special to each character we get to portray. And the most important part was that we were supportive and complimentary of our fellow ensemble members after each audition, encouraging our friends with applause, high fives, and positive feedback.
Since everyone was so well-prepared, we had a few spare moments at the end of class to review both our songs- Sweet Viola, and Hey, Ho. We love the melodies and choreography so much, we'll probably be singing and dancing to our songs for the rest of the week!
And after a quick "I take from the heavens", it was time to go home. We're so excited to come back next week and find out our roles!
Friday Recap (by Peter Van Kempen)
There was an excitement as the teens came into the room this week. Kendra warmed up our voices and our bodies to prepare for a class of singing and moving.
After warm-ups we played a game called "Make a Scene." Jack came up with the great suggestion that we make a scene at a bowling alley and started by being the pin setter. After that we had people join in as concession stand workers, bowlers, and Mila as a dancer (clearly this was a swinging bowling alley.)
Following that, we reviewed the song Sweet Viola. To get the students ready for the coming auditions, they each chose a character to act as when we sang about them. Sam P, true to form was Sir Toby Belch, perfectly acting as trying to pick a fight and being a bit belligerent.
After our singing came time for auditions. Lindsay helped us prepare for auditions last week, and continued running the auditions this week. Each student chose three characters and performed a line as each. Just as they would at a professional audition, they came forward and "slated" by introducing themselves, announcing which character they would be reading and then proceeded with the line reading. All of them were very prepared and it was fun to see which characters they had chosen. Lucas as Feste and Emily K. as Maria seemed born to play those rolls.
Finally, after all of the sitting we finished off the class by doing some more singing and dancing as we had the class learn the line-dance in the song Hey-Ho. It took a few tries, but eventually we had everyone do-si-doing. After "I Take From the Heavens", we headed out, excited to come back next week and start some scene work with the students in their final roles!