This week was cancelled for us, but I think that next week will be a continuation of our audition process, as we still have to cast Gonzalo and several other roles. We specifically designed it this way so that we could save space for people who may have missed our last practice.
We have the majority of the roles cast, and I could not be happier with the selections. The lead roles went to the handful of consistent returners, all of whom were passionate about the roles that they chose.
I personally think that Chris would have made an excellent Prospero, but he was extremely set on being Caliban, and I think that he will bring a fiery anger to the role that will be an interesting contrast to his cheerful personality.
Laura is our Miranda, and from our first meeting I knew that her sweet disposition and natural ability would make her into the perfect child of Prospero.
My one concern is with Jack, our Boatswain. When it came time for him to audition, he hid in the bathroom after declaring loudly that he wanted to be a tumbleweed. I think that he might prove to be upset with having lines, despite his ability to speak with intent. But we will see next Monday, and perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised!
This week was not as successful as the last, due to a number of factors. We started about 15 minutes late, as our scholars had not been dismissed from the class before quite yet. Per their request from the last week, we introduced a new game, Elves, Wizards, Giants, though it took quite a while to convince them the game would be fun and explain the rules (effectively a more active Rock, Paper, Scissors). We didn’t settle down to read the script until halfway through our time, and settling 20 fifth graders down to read Shakespeare was no easy task. Most of the scholars were disappointed to learn that they did, in fact, have to read again, while a few scholars just outright refused. However, we did have some of our more interested scholars try and get their friends into it by using funny accents and trying to tackle big passages, which was exciting to see. By the end of our time, which was cut short by another 15 minutes, we had only gone through about 2 pages, though I’m not sure we could have gotten much further.
For the next time, we promised to start with their favorite game, Froggy Murder, since we did not have time to finish with a game this time around. Many of the scholars were more interested in knowing their characters than actually reading through the parts, so it may be time to start picking out our sailors and spirits to help us with the less literary aspects of the play. At this point in the timeline, we should start focusing more on our scholars who are actually interested in having lines and giving them the opportunity to work on their accents and their reading skills. Hopefully, next week we will have our full time to play our theatre games and begin to divvy up the parts. Hopefully, once the scholars see this elective as more than just reading, they’ll be more excited to participate.