This week was much more successful, even though we missed last week’s rehearsal due to the weather. Some of our scholars were actually excited to see us again, and they were more willing to participate now that they had a better idea of who we are and what the project is. We had a smaller group this week of only about 20 scholars, which was a bit more manageable. We started and finished with games, which they appreciated, though the scholars requested new games for the next rehearsal, so Julia and I will have to have something new ready for them. Once we finished our first game, the group settled down and we went around the circle, each scholar reading lines for the characters as they came up in the script. They were surprisingly calm and thoughtful readers, with some scholars volunteering for the tougher speeches or helping their friends with difficult words. We only got through a few pages, though I was very happy to see how interested they became in the project once they had scripts in their hands.
Next week, in addition to new games, we will continue to read through the scene character by character so that every scholar has a chance to read. As we go through the script, we’ve been explaining the story and other opportunities for extra sailors and stagehands here and there. Some of our scholars have already expressed interest in helping backstage, though judging by the success of the first read-through, they may change their minds in the future. Hopefully, we won’t miss any more of our rehearsals, and we can finish reading through our scene before beginning to stage things. I’m also very hopeful that their enthusiasm yesterday will carry through to the next week.