Since our act had been officially cut form the performance, we spent our last work day making decisions about the group paper. We found a way to split the paper so that each person had two parts they were responsible for. We began bouncing ideas off of one another about our parts and discussing ways we thought the project could be improved for the next class. This time was still very useful for us even though we were not making last minute adjustments to our cast lists or acts.
The other groups did not seem like they were going to need much help from us so we told Dr. Bezio we could come learn how to operate tech so that she would have less to do while the performance was going on. On the day of the performance Rooney and Lucie ended up running sound and helping Dr. Bezio in the booth. In the hours prior to the start of the show I helped kids with makeup. During the show, I sat behind stage and helped communicate to Dr. Bezio when the groups’ kids were ready to go on stage for the lights to be turned on. This was a little hectic as the groups were running around and trying to be ready as quick as possible. I found that it ran more smoothly for groups that had fewer kids to manage and less changes in props. Even though our group did not have an act to contribute to the performance we were still able to find responsibilities on the day of the show.
Going into this visit we intended to have an additional make-up visit on Thursday the day before the show. However when we arrived we learned that none of our kids would be able to attend on the day of the show. Since we were already there and one of the kids was there we decided to stick around an play some games with her and read lines before leaving. The director went and confirmed with the other two girls, by calling home, that they would not be able to attend while we were playing games. Once we were positive that we would not have any kids on the day of the show we emailed Dr. Bezio. After hearing that Bezio thought we should cut the entire Act III from the play we decided we would just help where needed in the other groups and on the day of the show.
This week we had to schedule a make-up visit because of election day. Rooney was the only one able to attend this week so Dr. Bezio joined him. We felt that we needed this make-up session in order to be prepared for the show, especially since we had only one meeting so far with all three girls in attendance. Unfortunately when Rooney and Dr. Bezio arrived, they learned that the only girl who was able to make it to FRIENDS that day was not going to be able to attend on the day of the performance. This forced us to cut scene three from our Act. We were lucky that this was not a vital scene to the play that would not impact the audience’s understanding of the play. This lessened the stress for our group as the show was just about a week away and we were still behind on our rehearsals. Since we now only had two kids to take on roles, we had to make some changes to the cast list. Luckily at this point we did not have to cut any characters, just change the roles around.
During this visit to FRIENDS Association we had only one of our three kids to begin blocking the scenes. We had just determined the parts so for the first time one of the kids was able to read lines from their parts and learn blocking. This was the first time we had given any attention to blocking or considered how we envisioned the scene to work. We found that it went really smoothly as Hannah and Lucie had familiarity with Cousins and practice doing blocking before. Since the other girls were not there myself and my group members had to step in for characters that we were not assigned. This complicated things because the kid who was there was learning the blocking for her role as Stephano with a different person playing Trinculo than would be on the day of the show. Although she was able to remember the blocking and did a good job getting into character (especially as Miranda, during the scene with Miranda and Ferdinand) our time together practicing wasn’t as helpful without the other two girls. We were able to run through two of our three scenes which was good progress for the day. Had the other two girls been there we would have accomplished a lot more and been in a better position for future rehearsals.
During this work day we spent most of our time deciding which part each student would play and which parts we would each have. We determined that the characters who are in all the scenes should be played by members in our group so that the kids can have more than one part. We gave Imani the role of Miranda because she wanted it the most and we felt that for that reason she would really get into character and portray Miranda as naive and lovesick. We gave the parts of Ariel, Prospero and Alonso to our group members with Lucie being Ariel, Rooney as Prospero and myself as Alonso.
After deciding the cast list we decided to make more decisions regarding the script and props. We needed to make more cuts to the script so that our act would fit in the allotted time. Also, since we have cast members switching characters between scenes we will need more time for transitions. When looking at the script we noticed that we needed to pick out music for the the third scene when ariel enters. We had to make decisions about what props we need and what costumes the characters should wear. Again, since the kids will have to change in-between scenes we have to plan the costumes out. In particular, one of the kids is casted as Caliban in scene 2 and then has to switch to Gonzalo for scene 3. We decided that she will wear a baggy tshirt that will look distressed. Underneath the shirt she will have her clothes for Gonzalo’s part. We will use a makeup remover wipe to remove the face make up she has on for Caliban. We decided that we needed a table, some chairs, and sticks. The other characters will mostly wear what the class wide costumes are.
During our second visit we luckily had all three of our students in attendance. This allowed us a good chance to get comfortable with one another. After playing some games with the students we had them read lines. This allowed them to learn more about the different characters and to determine who they want to be. We had the students give us their top two choices before we left. We decided that it would be best to figure out the cast list when we were without the students as they all three wanted Miranda and we knew we were going to have to assign them more than one part.
Finally we had out first visit with the kids! However, only two kids were there… We were informed that more would be joining-but still a little alarming. We first had to fill out paper work and figure out logistics. Then the kids came in and we got right to work. At first we introduced ourselves and learned more about them. Next, we briefly explained why we were there and the goal of the project. The kids wanted to know more about The Tempest in order to figure out what characters they wanted to be. We told them a brief overview of the story and they had lots of questions. Then we played some theater games including, zip, zap, zop, and the ninja game. The kids really enjoyed this game and found it easier to open up and get comfortable working with us. Following that we had the kids read some of the lines. We took breaks within the reading of the script in order to help them understand what was going on. We were able to read through a good portion which allowed the two girls to get a feel for the different characters. And before we knew it time was up and we had to leave. As for now we have not made any decisions regarding cutting characters or parts, but once we know the final numbers we will have some big decisions to make.
Not much happened during this week. Our group’s main goal was to prepare for our first visit with FRIENDS Association. We learned that we were only going to have 4 or 5 kids in our play. This made us panic at first, since we have every character in our act. We briefly discussed how we would either combine characters, cut out parts, or taking on roles ourselves. Then we found out that we were actually only going to have 4-5 kids at the first visit and that more were going to be participating. Since we were not going to have all the kids we decided to focus most of the visit on getting to know the kids that were going to be there. We made a plan to introduce ourselves, the project, the play, and then to play some theater games with the kids.
This week our group only had the opportunity to meet briefly to continue working on our act. We spent most of our meeting timing the script in order to see how much we need to cut out. We read the second scene of the play, round robin style, and then discussed what parts we thought could be cut out. Also, we decided to switch Stephano to a female rather than Trinculo. We made this decision because we thought it would be of more comic relief. Also, we decided that we didn’t want Stephano to “beat” Trinculo but rather just playfully punish him. We decided on this because we don’t want the students to misinterpret or be offended by the interaction. In order to complete our script we are using our google doc to make our last changes on scene three. Since our partner site does not have information regarding the number of students or their genders our script will remain subject to changes.
The mission of our first work day was to ensure that all members of our group have the same vision for our Act. To do this we began by discussing each other characters in our act (Act III). We worked through what our initial views of them were as well as what direction we hoped to portray them as in the Jepson Shakespeare Project performance. In order to do this we thought about what role each character plays in the Act to determine in what ways we can portray them to the audience. Once we came to an agreement about each character we discussed ways to make our act unique and fun. First, we thought about ways in which Ariel’s character could act to ensure that the audience knew he was invisible and that the other students acting on stage would not “notice” him. We suggested having him act as a tree whenever the other characters were looking, which would also add some comic relief. Next, we decided to have some of the characters parallel each other. In order to do this it was suggested that we switch either Trinculo or Stephano’s character to a female and have them be married. We thought that this would add some comic relief as well as add the option of comparing female characters in the act. We decided that Trinculo should be the female to be compared with Miranda’s character. We spent the last part of our meeting to begin timing and editing the script. We timed the first scene and went through making some decisions regarding lines to cut. For now we have them as temporary cuts, and will review later. Then we began discussing what our first visit with the students will look like, to know what prep work should be done etc.