Last week, we had five students return – Dale, Javon, Christina, Rufus, and Jacob. We decided to break into groups so we could work more closely with the students who struggled in similar areas. For example, Jacob and I worked with Dale, Rufus, and Jacob on emoting and projecting while Maddie worked with Javon and Christina on reading and interpreting the lines. Since I personally didn’t work with Maddie, I don’t know firsthand how this worked, but it seemed to be really effective. Christina had previously struggled to read the script, but Maddie said that she really excelled once someone fed her the lines and she had to repeat them back. I think this is really useful to know, because now we can give her more auditory cues instead of just the visual ones from the script.
We cast Dale as Sir Andrew, Javon as Malvolio, Christina as the clown, Rufus as Sebastian, and Jacob as Sir Toby. I think these roles really suited everybody, so unless our group of actors changes drastically I think we should try to stick with them. Christina still seemed a little upset that she wasn’t cast as Olivia, but hopefully will warm up to the role of Feste.
Before we broke up into groups, we began the rehearsal by working on emoting. We had the students walk across the stage while portraying a certain emotion. For example, if they got “mad,” they would have to stomp across the stage. This worked well because they had to use their entire bodies, instead of just facial expressions or voices. Our group as a whole is pretty reserved and quiet, so this helped them seem more comfortable and commanding on stage.
Jacob and I worked with our group to stage the fighting scene. We had Rufus, Dale, and Jacob run through that scene a couple times so they could work on stage fighting, blocking, and emoting. We had them practicing “slapping” and “sword fighting” each other. They seemed a little hesitant to get close enough to each other to make it look realistic, so this week we’ll focus on getting them more comfortable interacting with each other on stage, instead of just focusing on getting them comfortable being on stage.
I noticed that the students were still reading their lines pretty quietly, so then we tried a game in which we had them attempt to shout each line louder than they did the last one. This worked a little at first, but by the end they were still reading the lines somewhat quietly. I think this week our group might bring candy as a motivator for reading the lines loudly or staging the fight scene really well.