Today, 9/26/16, my group, Act IV, had our second rehearsal. Me and Maddie went to get the Zip Car at 12:30, but we realized that the person who had it before us didn’t return it. We were worried at first that this would pose an issue with getting to St. Joseph’s Villa on time. We called customer service, however, and they let us switch our car reservation so we could use a different car. We picked up Jacob from his rehearsal and were on our way! I didn’t even spill my lunch on the ground this time. Once we got there, we headed to the Chapel, which is where we had previously decided our rehearsals would be held. We realized that there was an issue when we arrived at the Chapel and the lights were out and Timone and the rest of the students weren’t there yet. We walked over to Cottage 2 and found Timone. He told us that we would be using a conference room for today since they had an issue turning on the lights in the Chapel. This room worked really well for this rehearsal because we were planning on working on emoting and reading Shakespeare, so the set up (chairs around a table) helped a lot with that.
For this rehearsal, we planned on seeing which of our original five cast members returned, learning the plot of Twelfth Night, familiarizing ourselves with Shakespearean language, and practicing reading and emoting lines. We planned an activity where we had notecards with emotions written on them (like joy, sadness, love, shock, disgust) and had the students go around in a circle saying a sentence (like “I went to the zoo today”) in that emotion. Once we were done with that, we wanted to move on to them reading various lines from the play in those emotions as well. This activity initially went well, but we found that some of them didn’t know how to get some of the more nuanced emotions (like love) across. Also they seemed to be more worried about embarrassing themselves.
We also showed them the trailer for She’s the Man. I think this helped them understand the basic plot and who the characters were. It also gave them a reference point for when we referred to situations or characters. For example, when we talked about Duke, it was easier for them to picture Channing Tatum and know who we were referring to. When we sat down, I tried to jump into the trailer and explaining the plot, but Jacob reminded me that we had two new students with us today, and that they might not even know what the Jepson Shakespeare Project was, what they were doing there, or that they were even participating in a play. We decided to slow it down a bit, and re-introduce ourselves to the 3 out of 5 original students that came back (1 was sick and the other was absent from school that day, so both of the 2 that weren’t there today might come back for the next rehearsal) and the 2 new ones. We then described the project and the play.
It was harder to get the students to focus today. I think a big part of that was that Timone wasn’t in the room with us for the beginning part of the rehearsal, so the person that usually acted as an authority figure wasn’t there. Since they’re so close in age to us, it was hard to act as a leader in that situation. It was also difficult because we had moved from games and introductions to the actual play, and this seemed to lower their motivation to participate or pay attention. I think incorporating an improv game at the end of each rehearsal as a means of rewarding them for focusing would help this issue.
Because we won’t be having rehearsal for the next two weeks, due to a group conflict and fall break, we left a couple copies of the script with Timone and told the students that a good way to prepare for the next rehearsal on October 17th would be to look them over and watch She’s the Man. Our group decided that during the next rehearsal we would try to assign parts. To prepare, we asked the students who wanted more or less speaking parts. We also decided to break the script and the actual lines down into english that they would understand. When we practiced emoting, it seemed to be easier to do once we “translated” the Shakespeare to modern english. We decided to write little summaries like this next to every chunk of lines to have at our disposal for the next couple rehearsals.