“Is it a world to hide virtues in?” – Sir Toby Belch (Act I, Scene I, Line 131)

I hate to toot my own horn but TOOT TOOT readers because my last rehearsal at Henderson was AWESOME.

First and foremost, we have our own rehearsal space now!

We have the whole choir room to ourselves so not only is it quiet, but there’s also a ton of room and a whiteboard to boot.

I wonder if this is how Shakespeare would have felt if he somehow managed to get a rehearsal space without, I don’t know, rats or something.

Other highlights include our troupe wanting to play the animal charade game again and being open to playing a quick round of Simon Says while I waited on a student to find me some whiteboard markers.

I had them just play the basic way but maybe in the future there’s a way I can Shakespeare it up a bit – director says perhaps?

Anyways, we appeared to have a large portion of the same people we had our first week, with only one to two new additions.

Since my partners were unable to make the rehearsal I decided to dedicate the day to explain the plot again – I had hoped it would make more sense now that they could actually hear me, and I could use the board to draw basic images and whatnot.

The second attempt to explain went wayyy better than the first, and it was actually really fun seeing them react to the complicated yet funny love triangles and other various parts of the show.

Some of their amusement was probably also caused by the fact that I kept accidentally calling “Duke Orsino” “Dork Orsino,” which while technically not his name, isn’t completely off the mark either.

I also went ahead and started tentatively casting the show after wrapping up the story explanation and am very satisfied with how that went too.

Most of the parts were happily selected by the players on their own – our adorable fifth grader is so thrilled to be playing the “captain,” and I’m really excited about our Feste too.

We hit one little snag when two of the girls wanted to play Viola, but they ended it up working it out so that one would play Mary and the other Viola, completely on their own, even though I offered various alternatives of splitting the part.

The only snag we hit with casting is that we’ve yet to cast Malvolio, Sir Toby, or Sir Andrew, and unless we have a dramatic fluctuation in numbers this week, myself and my fellow directors may be breaking out our own acting skills come December.

Although we have at least one girl who at first couldn’t seem to care less about the show and didn’t want a part at all, she seemed genuinely interested in helping with costumes, scenery, and such when I offered that option to her, so I’ll have to be conscious of finding ways of including her in that process as we move along.

I’ve also had the students make themselves name-tags so hopefully in the future I can start getting better with names, although for ease and privacy I will simply refer to any students by their character name from now on.

This coming week will be the first time they actually get to see and read through their scripts so I imagine new hurdles will appearing in the blogs to come, but for now I can’t imagine another way I’d rather be spending my Thursday nights.

I decided to follow Jacob’s lead and combine last week’s (10/3) and this week’s (10/10) blog post into one. We were unable to meet for our third rehearsal, since Maddie is our designated driver and she had a scheduling conflict. Since the shuttle times didn’t match up with our rehearsal times and neither me nor Jacob can drive, we decided to postpone rehearsal until the next time we would meet. Unfortunately, with our fourth rehearsal falling during fall break, this meant our next meeting would be on October 17th. I’m a little concerned that since last rehearsal wasn’t as exciting for the kids (since we focused less on games and more on the script) and since it will have been so long since we held a rehearsal, that a lot of our cast members won’t come back. Timone seemed to really like the program, however, so hopefully he’ll encourage them to show up on Monday. As for planning our next rehearsal, we decided to go over the script more in depth and practice reading Shakespeare more. We went through the whole script and “translated” it into modern English so we would have descriptions ready if the high schoolers were confused on what was happening during a certain scene. We also left the group with a “homework” assignment for the next rehearsal. We wanted them to watch She’s the Man, which they all seemed fairly excited about, and read over the script. My group and I worked more on a props and costumes list, which we will hopefully solidify more next week. As for Monday, I think our goals would be to cast the play, determine if the group wanted to use a creative twist (by making in modern, set in another era, etc.), and figure out what we’re doing about Feste’s songs. I also think we should try to incorporate more games into the rehearsal if we have time, because it seemed to let them burn their excess energy and focus better later on.