This week, we finally began acting on stage. We were able to proceed through both the feast scene and the witches scene, which make up the majority of the production. After many weeks of reading through lines, casting, and discussing the play, it is pleasant to see the actors up on stage. Progress is incredibly shaky. Talia is confident and intelligent, but her voice is difficult to understand. Deandre continually reads off the stage instructions. Christina has difficulties with pronunciation and, unlike our other actors, stops in the middle of her lines to ask about each word. Derek is torn between wanting to participate and wanting to stay out of the way. I am sure that as we run through these scenes again and again, these problems will gradually disappear, but they are very present right now.

Our main problem is with casting. Our actors are incredibly inconsistent in their attendance. Kurntz, Deandre, and Christina are always present, but people continually show up and disappear. When new actors arrive, they always seem so excited to be participating. However, when the next week comes, we are left with an empty chair and a need to recast. I worry that we will be continually switching and combining roles until the day of the concert. As I said above, each of our actors has an individual problem that can only be addressed through repetition and practice. As much as Christina tries, no amount of scolding will stop Deandre from reading some of the stage directions. These are problems that can be addressed through run-throughs and practice, but I worry that our time is now very short. December is coming quickly. We will put on our best performance.

While we are still moving forward at a pretty good pace, finally up and off of the reading table and getting into some actual scenes, we are battling some inconsistency in who shows up each week.  Thankfully, our Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are there every week, so we don’t have to work around any main characters missing.  Still, though, we seem to have somewhat of a rotating cast of supporting characters.  It isn’t difficult from the standpoint of putting on an interesting production, I think that will happen no matter what.  It becomes difficult when members of the group who don’t show up every week, of which there are quite a few, seem to want to fall back into their normal roles upon return.  So, we’ve sort of ended up with a few of our students unintentionally jockeying for a few of the supporting roles.  Hopefully, through attendance, this problem will figure itself out.  I’m planning to talk to Timone about whether or not he has any inclinations about the future participation of the group members.  If there comes a time when it looks like everybody will be showing up consistently, then we can do some final casting.  I guess for now we’ll just have to work with whoever comes on that given day and hope the students enjoy themselves.

I will say that it is really interesting to see this come together so quickly, and it is especially enjoyable due to the genuine interest that certain students have taken in the subject throughout the process.  Students that I anticipated being terribly uninterested have shown increased investment pretty much every week and I think that can be attributed to our letting the students kind of dictate their own path.  Now, it seems as if the students just want to get up there and act each week, which works for us, because we can finally start figuring out some of the mechanics of this thing.  I can’t wait to see what is going to come out of these last few weeks.