During our last 2 weeks of rehearsals, our ensemble focused on staging and putting the finishing touches on our production of Cyrano de Bergerac!
Our rehearsal process focuses on getting actors in touch with the characters, comfortable and confident with the story, and building relationships with each other. We don't work wit the final script until Week 7 out of 10, so that doesn't leave a lot of time to finesse the production. Fortunately, because we spend so much time building skills and exploring the world of the story, our adaptable actors are able to hop right into whatever their final scene(s) may be.
These rehearsals focused on blocking some of the trickier beats of the show and getting comfortable with traffic patterns. We reviewed our basic stage directions with an ensemble game called Stage Manager Says and made sure to practice an important cue: “cheat out!” This means rather than directly facing your scene partner, actors turn out a bit so the audience can still see their face. In the theatre, cheating is a good thing!
On Monday May 7th our teaching team visited Chicago Shakes to do a walkthrough of The Yard. Members from each department of the theatre were there to answer questions and help us figure out the best way to set up onstage and backstage. We took lots of pictures to make a social story go our actors and help prepare them for dress rehearsal and performance. Have you ever seen a social story? Ours is very long and detailed, but you can peek at a few pages here (click to enlarge):
This put us in a great place for our week 10 run-throughs! We tried to set up the North Studio at The Menomonee Club as close to the set up in The Yard as possible. Both groups spent their final rehearsal running through the show from start to finish. We used all our costumes and props, practiced our blocking, and troubleshot complicated moments. We have a few pictures here, but be sure to check out our Facebook album to see even more from this semester.