After a short fall break, our ensembles returned to the rehearsal room this week to keep building our stories for our new show. With characters and settings in place, this week, our attention turned towards plot and figuring out how (or if!) or characters can get what they want.
We kicked things off as always with Dance Party. The Friday ensemble enjoyed a bit of "Despacito" and Claire, Anna, and Emily K led the Monday group in the "Whip Nae Nae." From there, we were on to warm ups and reviewed our schedules for the night. During each rehearsal, we nominate one actor to be our schedule master to help us stay on track and keep things moving. Marissa and Claire did the job for us this week!
During this week's check in, we worked with partners. The pairs introduced each other and shared what makes them good friends. We'll use these responses in one of our group pieces in the show.
We played a new ensemble game this week that quickly became a favorite. It's called "Darling, I love you won't you please please smile". We set up chairs in a circle, but one person doesn't have a chair. Their objective is to get a chair by going up to someone and making them smile or laugh. The have just one line - "Darling, I love you won't you please please smile" - but can get creative with moving and using their voices. Some people tried prat falls, tickling, silly voices, and differet accents to woo their person. If the person seated can keep a straight face and say "Darling, I love you, but I cannot smile", they get to keep their chair. If not, they have to give up their spot and try to get a new chair from someone else. This game helps us think about objectives and tactics, but also helps us work on keeping focus and staying serious when we're performing. We laughed a lot, but were also really surprised by some of the people who made it through without breaking - Samuel F. breaks for no one! Scroll through gallery to see a bit of this game in action.
From there, it was time to work on Devising. Each ensemble will be preparing 2 stories for this show. We've talked about these characters, what they're talented at, who they're close to, where they live, where they feel dangerous and also safe, and most importantly, what they WANT. This week the focus was on how we tell their stories. We talked about basic plot structure - how every story goes up a hill and back down a hill and thought about some famous stories we all know like Frozen, Beauty & the Beast, Romeo & Juliet and Aladdin to see how they follow this structure, and then moved on to mapping our stories. Our teaching artists asked actors the question "what happens next?" and actors took turns hopping up and acting out suggestions for of the play. We worked a lot on listening, respecting each other's ideas, and saying "yes" to try to accommodate all of the imaginations in the room. Lawrence will take all of these ideas away and draft scripts incorporating some of the improvised lines from each actor and fleshing out some ideas. We should have the first draft of scripts to work with in week 6. In the meantime, we'll focus on music and our group performance numbers! You can a bit of see our Friday ensemble's process in the photos gallery.