At this weeks rehearsal, Bliss and I were slightly slammed. Bliss and I had been hoping that more students would attend this weeks rehearsal than attended the last rehearsal, as we had planned to finish up auditions, finalize the cast list, hand out scripts, and do a full read-through of the play at this weeks rehearsal. However, the second we walked into St. Joseph’s Villa we were greeted at the door by Timone (our site supervisor) who alerted us that there were only 12 students in attendance. Thus, Bliss and I followed the first part of our rehearsal plan (to hold auditions for the students who were not in attendance at the last rehearsal) and then were left to improvise the remainder of the rehearsal. Thankfully, Bliss and I had a few improvisation games up our sleeves.
For the first improv game we played, we went around in a circle and told a story, and each student was required to add a line to the story. Then, we played an improv game called Three Headed Expert. Three Headed Expert involves three participants, who all work together to answer questions related to an obscure field (for example, one of the experts in a round of Three Headed Expert we played was an expert in “dinosaur fashion”). However- unlike in the first game we played- each person can only say one word at a time. In this way, Three-Headed Expert requires that students work together and listen closely to what the student before them has said so that they can build off of what they say and create an interesting and coherent response. Finally, we played a game called Freeze. In this game, two people are in a scene together. Then, someone who is not in the scene says “freeze,” and the actors in the current scene are required to freeze in the positions they’re in. Then, the person who said “freeze” gets to tap one of the actors in the scene out and start a new scene with the remaining actor. The new scene the actor starts must be related to the position the two prior actors were frozen in. For example, there could be a scene where two people are looking up at the sky, notice a UFO, and point up at it, then someone could yell “freeze,” tap one of them out, and turn the upward pointing hand motion into a sports motion, and create a new sports-related scene. Freeze requires that students pay close attention to the scene that is taking place so that they can choose a good spot to pause the scene at. Freeze also involves a lot of creativity and requires a lot of teamwork between the two actors in the scene. Bliss and I feel as though the students enjoyed Freeze the most of the three improv games (likely because it was the most fast-paced of the three).
Next week, Bliss and I will be announcing the cast list to students, handing out scripts, doing a full read-through of the play, and answering any questions the students may have about their characters or the premise of the play. Bliss and I had a fairly easy time casting the show, with the exception of two things. First, we only had 14 students audition for 15 parts. Thus, we did not cast a Sebastian, and figured that we could reserve this role for any new actors who join. Also, Bliss and I were alerted at our rehearsal on Monday that one of the students (Chris) who Bliss and I wanted to cast as Caliban may no longer be a part of the program. Thus, we have sent our finalized cast list to our site supervisor (Timone) so that he can confirm everyone we are giving major parts to is still a part of the program before we announce the cast list at our next rehearsal.