It was great being back at St.Joseph’s this week! We worked with three students I had never met before and one student who was at the last session I attended. When we walked in, one of the students (Rufus) was playing the piano. He was very talented and told us what his favorite songs to play are. It was clear that he was excited that we were interested and that he was proud of his skills. Lexi, Matt, and I commented that it would be great if he could play the piano either at some point during the performance or as the audience entered the venue.
All four students had also worked with the Monday group (ACT IV) so they were familiar with the plot and the characters. This was very helpful because we were able to jump right into physically acting out ACT III. Matt and I worked with Cristina and Rufus on the Viola and Olivia exchange in Scene I, while Lexi worked with Dale and Charles on Scene II. It was nice to have such a small group and be able to split up like this because we were able to give the students very personal attention. Cristina and Dale struggled a bit with reading through the lines, so as we went through I circled all the words they had a hard time with. In class yesterday, Lexi and I went through the script and attempted to change some of the words that they were struggling with to make it more approachable.
The only issue we really ran into was Cristina calling Dale – who had the most trouble with the script – slow and stupid. Dale didn’t take her comments personally and was able to keep his sense of humor – even saying “excuse me” after every time he mentioned his character (Sir Toby Belch). This provided us all with quite a bit of entertainment, and hopefully we can utilize Dales sense of humor when assigning him a role in the final production.
Overall, it was a productive hour, and I think we all learned a lot about what our roles are going to be in the final production. Some of the students will not need our help at all but others may need more guidance and direction during the performance. It is a little bit difficult working with different kids each week because the work feels inconsistent and progress isn’t very visible, but hopefully we will have a great showing for the final performance. At least we know the students are enthusiastic and willing to roll with the punches!