Rehearsal Log: Week 8!

With only a few weeks left until our show, during week 8, we attempted a stumble through of all of our scenes for the first time.


Hold on…you only have 3 weeks left and you’re just starting scenework?

We want everyone to have equal ownership and connection to the whole play, not just their part. We spent the first several weeks of rehearsal learning the story, and giving each actor an opportunity to embody all of the characters in Rostand’s classic story. Even though this was the first week we attempted these scenes with final casting, we worked through the concepts through play plots and other activities this semester, so they still felt familiar.


3 weeks is not a ton of time to learn lines or blocking!

We’re not worried. Though some of our actors will diligently work on their lines at home and memorize their scripts, not everyone will. We never want to pressure our ensemble to memorize lines. It can generate frustration, fear, and panic for even the most seasoned actor. Instead, during an A.B.L.E. production, each actor has a facilitator to “drop in” their lines and serve as their guide (just like Cyrano does for Christian!). Our facilitators ensure actors can focus on their character, connecting with their scene partner, and enjoying themselves, without stressing about what to say and where to go next.

We also have some thrilling news to share regarding the lines for this performance. For the first time ever to offer open captioning at this performance to assist audience members who are D/deaf/HOH or who just want to catch every single word.  We're partnering with the company C2, which pioneered and specializes in live theatrical performance captioning for patrons with hearing loss, partnering with theaters on Broadway, off-Broadway, with national touring venues, and with acclaimed regional theaters across the country. The captioning system will best be viewed from house left - the box office has a few seats reserved for those who most need them. We hope to continue offering this service at future productions, but it comes at a great expense. We are looking for corporate sponsors who might be interested in supporting this initiative for accessibility and inclusion. Contact us fro more information.


But people are playing so many different characters…

That’s true. Each of our actors will be playing at least 2 different roles during this show.  For some actors (Sam P., Ben, Anna, Emily K, Marissa, Emma, Colleen, and Claire), this means one substantial scene as a main character and then non-speaking background roles in other scenes. Others have 2 or 3 shorter scenes playing different characters. Our trusty narrator, Peter, will guide the audience from one scene to the next, and each character has a signature costume piece to help you keep track of who’s who. We have also cast our facilitators as specific characters. For example Lawrence will always be dropping in Christian, Katie will stick with our Roxannes, and Beth and Susan are with Le Bret for Monday and Fridays respectively.


We were really excited that both of our ensembles managed to run through all of their scenes this week, playing with blocking, and offering feedback for each other’s work. Next week, we’ll trouble shoot some trickier blocking and emotional beats, and then we’ll be ready for another run-through during week 10! It’s all starting to come together and we can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on with all of you Thursday May 17th at 7pm at The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare!