This week, we focused in on cleaning up some particular scenes. While we got the blocking (entrances and exits) down last week, we narrowed in on the particulars of the blocking and actions within each scene this week.
We ran through our first scene once, then started a discussion on what could be improved. We are lucky to have engaged participants who critique each other and actors who welcome criticism. Many of the participants who were not acting in the scene watched and gave tips on stage directions, emphasis on certain actions and lines, etc. Our group gave advice based on in-class discussions of the plot/themes and our own interpretations of each scene, advising our actors on what their characters were actually saying and feeling.
We ran through the first scene again, and it had improved dramatically based on our discussion! We followed the same process for a few more scenes, getting about half-way through our section by the end of practice. I think we will continue this process next week, because it seems to be working quite well.
One issue we encountered this week was that Bill B, one of our participants, has been absent for the second week in a row, after telling us last week that he “lost track of time”. We have had other actors taking his roles for the past 2 weeks, and have prepared these actors for the possibility that if Bill does not return, they might adopt these roles permanently. Another participant expressed her concern that Bill is not committed to the project, and is not as great a reader as the rest of the group. We encouraged her that we would talk to Bill and figure out his situation.
Overall, we are making great progress. The group seems to be practicing outside of our rehearsal time, and other than Bill, everyone seems very committed and excited about how the project is coming along!