Bliss and I did not expect to have many students at our first rehearsal, and we did not expect for the students we did have to be especially interested in the Shakespeare Program we are leading. However, we ended up having about twenty students at our first rehearsal, and the students we had were fairly engaged in the activities we led (minus one student who kept playing the piano throughout the rehearsal). We started the rehearsal off with introductions, which was a fun way for us to get to know the students and for some of the students to get to know each other. Then, we played a game of Zip Zap Zop. In addition to serving as a fun activity for us and the student’s, Zip Zap Zop served as a great way to lead into our first acting exercise, as Bliss and I emphasized how the game demonstrates the importance of communication and collaboration between actors on stage. After Zip Zap Zop, Bliss and I led our first acting exercise. We used one of the exercises from The Basics packet, entitled “Head, Heart, Gut.” We chose the “Head, Heart, Gut” exercise because we felt it would be a good way to teach students how lines vary based on the context of a situation and the intention of a character. We used different monologues and scenes from Acts IV and V of The Tempest for this exercise, and provided students with background on the characters and context of the monologues and scenes.
In this exercise, three students stood out to Bliss and me. One student named Chris read a Sebastian line in one of the heart scenes and really got into it, experimenting with different tones, paces, and mannerisms. We feel as though he would make a good Caliban, as he read his line in a somewhat malicious way after he was provided with background on Sebastian and Sebastian’s intentions in the scene. Another student who stood out to Bliss and me was Lauren, who read for Miranda in the same heart scene as Chris. Finally, Bliss and I think that one of the students (whose name is Aaron) would make a great Ariel, as he incorporated dancing into the scene he read.
Overall, I am very content with how the first rehearsal went, and am excited to see where the next rehearsal takes us.