So begins the fall semester for Able ensemble 2016. Tonight was the first evening for the Monday night class as well as the parent meeting with Peter. A lot of new faces turned into the circle of the Monday class. One of those new faces belonged to Anna. Most of our ensemble knew her (especially Claire) but she is new to the program and we couldn’t be happier to see her. (And I hear tell that she has a great English accent, which will come in handy). Three new facilitators joined the team as well. Max, Emily, and Alison all jumped in with both feet. As soon as I saw their faces when meeting our ensemble I knew that they would fit right in. Finally not new but new to their roles of teaching artists were Kaylie and Sean (me). Well enough parentheticals, on to the class work.
The Monday class is in a new classroom this semester. We are out of the studio and in the Recreational Room. It is a good sized space and we don’t have to dodge fencers which is a plus. The actors arrived full of energy and ready to work. Kaylie put together a rockin playlist on Spotify and Kate lead the dance party. Ben brought his A game as usual. After dancing came warm-ups with Kaylie and then the check in question which was, “What is one thing that you did over the summer?” Of course we had trouble keeping to just one thing. Emily L. went swimming. Kate learned ballroom dance and Matt learned swing dancing, such a talented group of facilitators. Sam R. had a wonderful time shooting The Spy Who Knew Me.
Kaylie then led us in a terrific ensemble name game. It was a great way to get to learn the names of the new faces. One by one we said our name and then paired it with an action. After you performed your name everyone would repeat the name and action and then do the same for everyone who had already gone. The farther we got around the circle the more challenging it became to remember them all.
Our play this semester is A Christmas Carol. On the walls around the classroom we had a poster for each of the major characters, Scrooge, the Spirits, Cratchit and so on. Everyone sat in the middle of the classroom and we went poster by poster and learned a little of each character and got to see their costume piece. After an introduction we took volunteers and had them come up and put on the costume as one of the facilitators pulled a line off the wall and dropped them in. Colleen performed The Spirit of Christmas Future admirably as it was not a line at all but a very spooky point. As further introduction to the play we worked a little bit of the first scene. Sam R. showed us that he already has some solid ideas about the character of Scrooge and Andrew worked diligently for his employer as Cratchit.
We concluded the evening with a few games to grow as an ensemble and the check-out question, “What about ABLE are you excited about this semester?” It sounds like everyone is very excited to start working on these iconic characters. We did a quick I Take from the Heavens and moved out to find parents as they finished up the meeting with Peter.