Between our first and second practice, we had two OSHER participants drop of of the program. We started off with 8 participants and now we are down to 6. At practice today, there were two people who were not able to come. Even with only four people, we were able to successfully cast the play. They asked our opinion in casting but we decided it would be better if they had parts they wanted to play! Everyone is playing two or more roles. I was worried that there would be multiple people who would want to play the same role or someone would feel slided in the part they received. Much to my surprise, all of the participants were very gracious and there wasn’t two people who wanted to play the same role. We have broken up a few of the parts into two people.
After casting, we read through the play with the everyone reading the lines to their parts. The reading went relatively smoothly. There were some who were better and more comfortable reading than others but as time goes on I am confident everyone will feel more comfortable reading their lines. We left them with the homework of going over their part and seeing how they would act the lines. We told them to think about what kind of emotion would be in the lines. Next week we will begin to start blocking and thinking more about costumes and props we would like!
I was unfortunately unable to meet the OSHER participants last week since I was sick, but looking over my group members’ posts and planning for this next week has gotten me to start thinking about how OSHER will fit in with our Shakespeare project. I think it is an interesting contrast to have children playing the first three sections of Macbeth, and then having the older, more experienced actors coming in for the ending. It is almost as if the innocence and blind ambition of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth turns into their understanding and wiser remorse by the end of the play.
This being said, I am thrilled to hear from my group members that the OSHER participants have a child-like excitement towards performing with us. I think it will be productive that the older members of our play are more experienced with Shakespeare and are participating of their own volition, which will make them easier to deal with when learning the play. I assume our issues will arise more from our own lack of experience than issues with OSHER, but as the semester moves along, I am confident we will adjust well.
This week, my group plans to talk to the OSHER participants about casting and get roles assigned. We hope to do another read through of the play after figuring out roles. I am excited to meet the participants and get to casting!
Our first week of practice went so well! I was so impressed by our Osher participants! My group has been lucky and we were given the privilege to work with adults instead of children which makes our job a lot easier. However, we were not sure how engaged our Osher participants would want to be so I was pleasantly surprised to see their high level of engagement. We had thought that our first week of practice would consist of introductory matters. However, our participants wanted to jump straight in! We did a complete cold read of the speech with our participants just alternating lines, not casted yet. I am greatly looking forward to working with our Osher participants for this projects. We even have one participant who is a professional actor. They all come with at least some knowledge of Shakespeare which also makes our job easier. Our participants are very interested in Jepson’s role in the Shakespeare project and how leadership plays a role in this project. This is something we plan to address in our upcoming practice.