It's hard to believe we stepped into rehearsals 9 weeks ago without any script or concrete show at all, and now we have just 3 weeks left before we take the stage....rehearsals are getting serious!
After our usual dance party and warm up, we played a new ensemble game based on mirroring. Any drama kid will tell you that partner mirroring is a pretty popular exercise to work on focus, observation, nonverbal communication, and give-and-take. But we added a different spin. Rather than working in a pair, we mirrored as a whole group. Everyone sat in a circle and had to mirror one person. Once we got the hang of it, we made it trickier. One brave volunteer left the room, while the others decided who to mirror. When the volunteer came in, they had to try to guess who everyone was copying. It took a keen eye, and a lot of guesswork, but it was great for high focus.
Week 7 of rehearsals was all about details. With our stories in place, these sessions focused on our Monday and Friday ensembles clarifying the transitions between stories and our group performance pieces. First up, Peter worked on music. We brushed up on our sign language for True Colors, and worked on the arrangement of the song. This means what we repeat, who sings which part, and when we want to get louder or quieter.
Then we moved on to scenework. We always have a check in at the beginning of class - this semester, we've been tailoring our check-in questions to match the theme of inner beauty that we're exploring with this play. Each week, our actors have completed different statements:
"Inside, I am..."
"I am beautiful because..."
"I am a good friend because..."
"I am very talented at..."
Sometimes we check in alone, and sometimes, we check in with a partner and share more about them with each other. Throughout the semester, we've been keeping track of each other's answers, and have built these statements into the show. To transition between the the original stories we've devised, some of our ensemble will come forward and introduce themselves to the audience. Working with a partner they'll share more about themselves and each other with the audience. During this week's rehearsal, we practiced blocking for these transitions and worked with our partners to ensure we're sharing what we want to share and helping each other look good!
Next up, it was time for choreography. Each of our ensembles has a big dance party moment in one of their scenes. Teaching Artist Kendra stepped in to help shape these dance parties. In true ABLE fashion, there's a bit of set choreography, but each actor also has a moment to solo and show off their best moves. This was a fun way to finish class and during check out, most people said dancing was their favorite part of the rehearsal!