Week 6 was another jam-packed set of rehearsals. The show is starting to take shape, and we're seeing more and more of the performance elements come together.
We kicked things off as always with a dance party. The Monday ensemble had a special Halloween themed playlist and loved jamming to songs like "I Want Candy", "Purple People Eater" and "Monster Mash". From there, we got underway with warm ups, check ins, and schedule reviews.
Then it was time for a new ensemble game. "The Sun Shines On..." is another seated game. Everyone starts seated in a circle but one person doesn't have a chair. That person stands in the center of the circle and has to think of something that is true about them, maybe, for example, that they wear glasses. They say "The sun shines on everyone who wears glasses." If that's true for anyone else in the circle, they have to stand up and find a new chair. Someone will be left without a chair and that person gets to think of something else. In our ensemble, The Sun Shines On people who have sisters, have brothers, have brown hair, like singing, wear socks, watch Disney movies, have flown on a plane, play basketball, go to Cubs games...and more!
Form there we moved on to music. You might remember last week Peter worked with us on lyrics for our group song, True Colors. This week, we had a guest artist, Emma MacLean who helped us translate those lyrics into sign language. Many of our actors know some sign already, so this was a fun opportunity for them to show off. Emma has a lot of experience working in the theatre and is a wonderful teacher, and our ensemble are all fast learners! Emma made videos for our actors to practice with at home and we will keep working over the next few weeks to perfect our signs and have them ready for the big show. You can see Emma and the Monday ensemble practicing in this video:
After music practice, we moved on to scenework. Our teaching artist and Project Coordinator Lawrence took all of the materials and ideas we came up with during the first few weeks of devising and turned them into scripts. This week we did a stumble through of the finished scenes. A "stumble through" is the first time you try to put a scene up on it's feet. We were getting used to the new dialogue, experimenting with blocking, and trying out some costume pieces, so everyone needed to stay focused on on their toes. When they weren't in scenes, our actors served as good audiences members, listening, watching, and ready to give feedback. It was great to see the stories come to life for the first time. We gave each other feedback about our favorite and least favorite parts, and, over the next 3 rehearsals we'll focus on blocking and clarifying the scenes.
This was a busy but productive week of rehearsals and it's so cool to see the show taking shape. We have just three more rehearsals with each ensemble before our dress rehearsal onstage. Stay tuned for updates as we keep building to performance!