Today was our final rehearsal before the show! We decided to go through the entire script to fix any problems and clean things up. We timed our first run-through, and it looks like our timing is on-track at 16:45! There were no major issues and every seemed to have practiced their parts and their blocking. We were very impressed!
We took a bit of a break to talk about plans for Friday. We told the participants to arrive at 3pm, and figured out directions to St.Joseph’s. We drew an outline of the stage on the board, and told them how transitions to different sides of the stage would probably happen. This was a bit difficult since we have not actually seen the stage or the venue, but we did as much as we could and planned to figure out the details on Friday.
After a bit of discussion about small changes to the first run-through, including timing of entrances and exits and stage directions, we ran through the script again. I included the sound effects I found, but it was difficult because I had to turn the sound on my computer on and off so that the sounds would go off but my email/other notifications would not interrupt the play. I will need to work on timing and any other technical difficulties that Friday brings. The timing was almost exactly the same in the second run, 16:58. I think the played looked great, and we are definitely ready for Friday!
This week was perhaps the most disheartening rehearsal we have had to date. We showed up to find that most of our main roles were absent and only Christina and one new actor were present. With such a small group of students we were fairly limited in practicing until Timone finally wrangled a few more students into the church. In the end, we were able to run through a full scene however we had to use interim actors for most of the parts which will not help us much for the final production next week. Additionally, Timone informed us that some of our better actors who have bigger parts will not be coming back which puts us further behind as we will have to do more casting and editing to our script. However, the rehearsal was not all bad. We found some students who had smaller parts show some interest in having more lines which will help filling the newly vacant roles. Additionally, some students like Christina even asked to bring a script home so she could practice before the final production next week. Lastly, another thing that has perhaps been slowing us down is our attempts to make sure that the students know what is going on in every scene. We take large portions of each rehearsal to explain what is happening so they aren’t just reading words mindlessly of a script. While this slows us down a little, I think it is well worth it for them to understand the play and help them grasp some of the larger ideas of the play.
In light of everything that has happened I still believe we will be able to put on a great show next week. I believe that DeAndre (Macbeth) is planning on showing up for both the rehearsal and the performance which in combination with Christina (lady Macbeth) will cover a large portion of the lines. From there we will just have to cross our fingers and see who is able to show up and work on the fly. Lots of our students have been reading different roles as a result of absences so I’m sure some last minute changes will be very manageable.
I am very relieved and excited after this week’s rehearsal. We were finally able to act out the entire script! I was a bit apprehensive at the beginning of rehearsal as the scholars were running and screaming around the stage. Our sight supervisor quickly reprimanded them, unfortunately removing some of the students from rehearsal. Jessie, Bridget, and I then put our long awaited plan into action.
We began by diving the students into three groups: small parts, medium parts, and large parts. Surprisingly, ideal amounts of scholars ended up in each group. From here, we assigned each student to a character in a section of the script. We divided the script so that multiple students can play each role, which they are very excited about. There are four groups: one with only two students, and three with approximately eight students. We chose two responsible, well-behaved students for the first group. This process did not take long as all the scholars are familiar with the characters from discussions had during rehearsal in previous weeks.
Once I had my group for section two of the script, I made sure I knew all of their names and which roles they are playing. Learning the scholars’ names has been very difficult as we have around 30 in total. They began reading through the script, and I was immediately impressed. If they didn’t know a word, they did not stop, but took time to sound it out and keep going. They didn’t keep their faces in the scripts, either. The scholars projected and even began acting many of their lines. I was very proud of them. After a run through of the lines themselves, we went to a corner of the stage and did another read through this time with entrances/exits. The scholars that had smaller roles got bored quickly and had a hard time focussing while the others performed. I had to ask a few of them to sit apart from each other. Besides this small setback, my group did a great job. Jessie and Bridget also had similarly positive experiences with their groups!
This rehearsal was the best we’ve had yet. I am feeling much less anxious for the performance on Friday. The one worry I have is that the site supervisor is unaware of the permission slips. They need to get these in soon. I’m looking forward to seeing their progress in the next rehearsal as they’ve promised to practice at home and with the site supervisor! We’ll also try to add props/costumes!