Act III, Week 9

Our rehearsal this Thursday (11/17) gave us a lot of clarity regarding role assignments for the final production. As always, many of the students were very flexible with roles, which has always been very helpful for us, given the unpredictability of attendance.  However, for the students that we have had the pleasure of working with consistently week to week, I have noticed them growing more comfortable with certain roles.  For example, Jayvon has become attached to his role as Antonio.  Luckily, that role assignment works well for him.  He is a strong performer, and I believe he will feel confident reading Antonio’s lines since he has been able to practice that role consistently.  Unfortunately, Christina has grown attached to Olivia’s role, but we do not think that will be the best fit for her.  We had Christina read Maria for us this rehearsal, and it went very well.  She is not quite yet confident, but we will continue to practice with her and give her pep talks until she feels ready.  Throughout the rehearsal, as she adjusted to her new role, I could see her having more and more fun with it.

We continued to take notes on any further script changes that appeared necessary.  We have cut down the script a decent amount, but we will continue to do so because we are slightly nervous about time. 

Given the proximity to the final production, we treated rehearsal as a more formal and organized dress rehearsal, so we would be able to pinpoint the major areas that needed a little more practice before the show.  We emphasized having the kids enter and exit from the locations they will in the actual show.  We want the kids to feel as confident and prepared as possible for the final production, although there will definitely be some last minute adjustments, no doubt.  We also continued to emphasize their positioning on stage, so that they face the audience whenever they deliver a line.  Next rehearsal (our final practice before the show), we will incorporate props, as well. 

We had a huge group this time, which was a bit hectic, but also tons of fun.  We were super excited to see some new faces.  We had a new student who was very confident, entertaining, and eager to act.  We had him reading Malvolio’s lines, and he had fun putting his own twist on the role.  On the other hand, we also had a new student who was a bit shyer.  We encouraged him to try reading a role, but unfortunately, he did not make it up on the stage this rehearsal.  However, I think he enjoyed observing and taking it all in.  I hope very much that he attends next week’s rehearsal, so we can continue to try to get him more involved. 

Due to the size of our group this week (first time we had more kids than roles…usually the other way around), I noticed that the students not involved in a particular scene were becoming disengaged in the rehearsal while the other students were working on a scene on the stage.  Therefore, I pulled a few aside to just read through lines while waiting in the pews.  This way, they would remain engaged and hopefully feel more prepared for when it was their turn to perform their scene on the stage.  I also used the time to gage how they were all feeling about the performance in general and to get any feedback about role preferences.

I think we made major strides in our rehearsal this week, and I look forward to our final rehearsal and the actual performance next week!!