On Thursday (11/10), we had a new mix of students again.  We had two returning students and two new students.  The new students participate in the Act IV group, and so they were familiar to the structure of rehearsals.  We have had one consistent student attend all of our rehearsals throughout the project.  It has been exciting to watch him throughout each stage of the production.  The spontaneity of attendance has also added an element of excitement to the project.

We are lucky to hold our rehearsals in the space where the performance will actually occur in December.  This week we began blocking our scenes and had the students practice on the Chapel stage.  We improvised parts, and all of the students were flexible and open to playing different roles.  We emphasized where the students will stand on the stage while performing, encouraged them to face the audience, and suggested that they try to project their voices. 

Some students are stronger readers than others, but they can all get through their lines.  We had to occasionally remind certain students to be patient while other students might be struggling to read their lines.  We emphasized that it was okay for them to feel as though the lines are difficult, but that they will become easier to read with practice.  While some students are self-sufficient on stage, others need a little coaching as to when to read their parts.  We might have to be on stage with them while they are performing to help them through the scenes, but we will continue to try to get them more comfortable reading and following along with the script independently.

My favorite part of rehearsal this week was when a new student, Dale, added some needed comedy into the scene.  Dale was reading Toby’s part, and before every line he would read Toby’s full name, “Sir Toby Belch,” followed by an “Excuse me.”

On Thursday (11/3), our St. Joe’s students had a conflict and we were unable to have rehearsal.  Next rehearsal we plan to continue reading through the scenes with the students and mixing up the roles.  We also plan to begin blocking the scenes on the stage.