We had two jam-packed, productive rehearsals this week, with our ensembles focused on continuing to learn the story of Cyrano and building our ensemble performance pieces.
We kicked things off as usual with dance party and warm ups including lots of follow-the-leader and exercises to get our singing voices primed and ready. From there it was time to check in. In addition to learning more about theatre and performance skills, A.B.L.E. is a social opportunity for our actors. Check in is the perfect time to think critically about the story we’re telling, but also share more about ourselves and get to know each other better.
This week, we focused on Act II, in which Cyrano and Christian develop a plan to woo Roxanne with love letters. We asked our ensemble “How could someone win your heart?” Here’s what they had to say:
Emily K: Respect me
Colleen: value me and take care of my heart
Emily L: make friends with my friends and take me to the movies
Peter: go to a Cubs game or play basketball
Claire: be supportive
Sam R: respect me and people like me
Anna: sing High School Musical with me!
Emma: make me dinner
Hannah: get along with my family, and play me music like Carol King’s “Beautiful”
Ben: travel with me to Alabama
Marissa: write me love letters
Jack: make friends with my friends
Sam P: hearts, kisses, and gifts
Lucy: a big shiny diamond ring
Alena: make me laugh
Samuel: make me something like a giant heart
Maria: fight for me
Lucas: sing a song
Mila: buy me a cat!
Natalia: a good, warm hug
Some shots from our ensemble game, Here to There!
Special guests Kendra and Peter Van Kempen worked with each ensemble to learn their respective musical numbers. Music always plays a big feature in A.B.L.E. plays. For Taming of the Shrew, we incorporated jazzy standards from the musical Kiss Me Kate. The Tempest incorporated riffs on classic Beatles tunes. Twelfth Night had an acoustic, folksy feel. This production of Cyrano will have a pop-rock vibe. The Friday ensemble is singing a medley of modern classics to represent all of Cyrano’s letters to Roxanne. The Monday ensemble are playing the Gascony Cadets and singing a rousing, rhythmic, classic rock battle song. Our ensembles had a blast learning these songs, and will also have opportunities to audition for solos later in the semester.
After music and choreography, we continued to work on our play plots as a way to simultaneously get familiar with the story and try out different characters. It’s great to see it coming together!