Rehearsal Log: Week 3

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!

Next up, we’ll learn the story of Act III and continue to refine our group swordfights and musical numbers! Stay tuned for more from the rehearsal room, and be sure to grab your tickets to see this special one-night-only performance on May 17th at Chicago Shakespeare Theater!