Jepson Shakespeare Project Act V Youth life Week Six

This week we continued to make great strides in our performance at Youth Life. We were lucky enough to have Chris Miller, a fellow University of Richmond student help us this week and play the role of Feste, as his elective at Youth life was short on kids this week. With Chris’s help, we were finally able to run through a whole scene with everyone being the characters that they were supposed to be. It was very exciting! In addition to running through scenes, we were also able to begin talking about stage presence,¬†how each scene should be played.

We started this week with TJ, quizzing all of our students on their roles, and asking them to analyze why we were asking them to do the things that they did in each of the scenes. Then, we ran through a few scenes and had great success. Our biggest challenge in this part of the rehearsal was teaching the students to remain quiet while other students were performing. After around 20-30 minutes of this, the students were starting to get restless, and things were becoming relatively unproductive. As a result of this, we started to play an acting game with the students where one student would start a sentence, the next person would say another word, and this went so on and so forth until the sentence ended. If you inserted a word that did not make sense in the sentence we had to start over. I thought that this game was really successful because it really engaged one of our students, Khalil, who usually is very unenthusiastic about the theatre. Before playing this game, Khalil refused to read his lines in his role as Antonio as he wasn’t feeling well. However, it was evident that Khalil simply did not want to be a part of the performance, and thus that is why he did not want to read his lines. However, after our game, and a talk me and Khalil had comparing Antonio to LeBron James (I’m not quite sure how I pulled this off), who is Khalil’s favorite athlete, he seemed to be much more enthusiastic about his part in the performance.

Of everything that had happened this week at rehearsal, I felt as though this was the most productive event. I sincerely hope that Khalil comes back to rehearsal next week with the same attitude he had in the second half of our rehearsal this week. I also look forward to making more progress with our remaining cast members as well and finalizing the logistics of our scene.