Last week, I went to Henderson alone to introduce the students to our portion of the script. Our entire rehearsal was spent reading through the script (15 pages) in a circle. I was pleasantly surprised by the students’ ability to read such challenging language. While the majority of the students were resistant, many others were happy to participate.
This read-through gave me both hope and worry. On one hand, I was really pleased with how the read-through went. I also quizzed the students on the plot of the play, and they remembered most of the plot points. On the other hand, I am worried about both casting and staging the play. My concerns with casting are mainly due to the fact that I can’t remember any of the students’ names. Joe and I have some vague ideas for who we want to cast in which role, but again, remembering names is proving a challenge for me. I’m also concerned with directing. I definitely have ideas for how the play should be acted and staged, but I’m more concerned with behavioral issues. We read through the play last week, but not without pausing many times to tell the students to be quiet, to remind them what page we’re on, and to tell them to sit in their chair and not roll around on the floor. I’m worried about trying to direct several students on stage while the rest of the students chat, play, and text (which they’re not supposed to do). We have a teacher in the room with us, but it seems as though everyone’s authority is somewhat diminished because this is an after-school program.
The challenge for rehearsal today is to stage the first scene. We could probably do more, but I don’t want to give them too much to do on the first day of blocking. In the following weeks, we will block the rest of the scenes and begin to rehearse. I hope we can continue to keep the students interested in the play!!