Every week, A.B.L.E. teaching artist Emma MacLean takes you behind the scenes for our teen ensembles’ spring production, As You Like It. Click here to catch up on our past installments, and read on to find out about Week 9 of rehearsals.
Another week in the books. They seem to be going by faster and faster. Rehearsals are speeding by. I feel like we’ve just started dance party when all of a sudden I look up and it is time for check out.
This week, we welcomed all facilitators into our rehearsal room. Usually, they trade off weeks with just 2 or 3 facilitators joining us each week. It’s so exciting to finally have the whole team together. It feels real! For As You Like It, each actor will work with one facilitator for the duration of the show.. For check in this week, actors paired off with their designated facilitators to learn more about each other. They had to share back to the group one new fact that they learned about their partner. We learned about favorite foods, pets, siblings and much more!
Our ensemble game this week is one that has become a favorite of mine throughout this rehearsal process: leading sticks. A pair has to balance a long plastic rod between their palms while moving throughout the room. Each takes turn being the leader, slowly moving their hand while the other person follows their movement. Some people prefer leading, others following. It’s a pretty mixed group.
At this point, we got down to rehearsing scenes. With our entire teaching team in the room, we were able to dig in deep on the prologue, finale, and epilogue. Our entire company (all 35 people!) will be onstage for these segments, which means that there is a lot to coordinate.
The Prologue takes on the enormous feat of introducing over a dozen characters to the audience! We were able to block our tableaus and bring them to life, with characters peppered all around the stage, and puppet flying through.
Not to spoil anything but the Grand Finale of this play features a triple wedding. This is a pretty big deal (it’s not everyday that you have that you have a triple wedding) and so we would like to celebrate it in an over the top way. Our finale is a giant dance number. We’ve been practicing this in segments throughout the rehearsal process, but, this week we got to see the whole thing like in action (it’s wonderful).
The Epilogue in most productions is just Rosalind entreating the audience with a final speech. Seeing as so many actors in our ensemble play Rosalind throughout the show, it seemed only fitting that each actor would get a line in the epilogue. I love hearing all the voices of the ensemble work together to tell the end of this story. It is a beautiful thing. And there’s a special tearjerker moment featuring all 4 of this semester’s graduates.
Next week marks our last regular rehearsal. We are going to run all the scenes for each ensemble. It has been so humbling to watch these actors focus and get done what needs to get done in rehearsal. We’re so close to the end I can feel it!