This week marked our second consecutive successful week at St. Joseph’s Villa, and we were excited to have our students meet Eliza for the first time and get back to work. We had one new member in our group, Katera (or KT), who had also met with the other group at St. Joe’s, and she seemed to already be friends with Destiny, Jayvon, and Aisha. To my relief, we also had every member back from the previous week, including Charles, the most eager of our actors. We decided to go into more detail about the plot of the play and the different characters. Trying to explain the love triangle proved to be challenging, because although we felt like we were explaining it well, it was difficult for the students to understand since they were not too familiar with the identity of each of the characters. Next week it may be a good idea to find some sort of visual so that the kids can attach an identity to each character that extends beyond a name.
Familiarizing the students with the characters got them excited to see which role they would want to take on in the production. Since some of them had already established roles with Act IV from the Villa, they quickly wanted to assume those roles with us, but we stressed that if they played different people for different acts, it would probably be a lot of fun. For example, Aisha said she is playing Feste in Act IV, but when we told her that Feste does not have a big part in our act, she decided that playing Malvolio would be a good idea since he takes on a humorous role in Act III. One of the issues that we faced with assigning roles was trying to figure out how people could take on more than one role, because there are many times when two characters are engaged in the same scene, so this is something that we are going to have to go through the script and figure out as a group before we can finalize anything.
As a reward for working so hard, we played some more games, which everyone was really excited about, including the 3, 6, 9 game, one word story, and at Destiny’s request – heads down, thumbs up. Next week we will bring printed out copies of our scripts and hopefully finish assigning roles so that we can start rehearsing some of the lines with the group.