We had our final rehearsal last Thursday – the day before the performance, and we knew we had a lot to cover in a short amount of time. We had not yet rehearsed all of our final scene, and we still did not know all our roles. Fortunately, we had 7 people, who ended up being the same 7 we had the following day for the performance. Lexi, Eliza, and I had figured out during our in-class workday how many lines each character had, and we had a rough idea of who we wanted to play each character in order to minimize the overall time of the act. This meant that Charles would be playing Toby, and he was ecstatic when we told him that he would get to pretend to be drunk for his new role. It also meant that Dale would be playing the officer, with by far the fewest lines in the act. We compared our script length to the other groups, and saw that after cutting it down 4 or 5 times over the course of the semester, we were actually around the class average.
On Friday, I arrived at St. Joe’s with TJ, AJ, and Dylan after my Ethics class, and saw that Eliza and Lexi had highlighted the scripts for each character, which would help people keep track of when they had lines. We also went through the entirety of our act beforehand with the Act IV group there, but unfortunately we still took too long to go through the entire act (sorry guys!) and the other group did not get to rehearse. I think that we needed that though, because it was the very first time we went through the whole thing from start to finish, and I know that it helped with confidence for our actors.
When it came time to perform, I was a bit scared that Rufus would not want to be Malvolio anymore because he tends to get upset about things easily, but he already had the socks and cross-gartering on way ahead of time, which looked good with his signature sunglasses and jacket with the hood up. Everyone was ready and exciting to for the show, and they all did great. Christina was a little bit nervous, and even though she stumbled on a few lines, her passion for acting really shined. Keteira was a great Olivia, and Talya did a great job with Viola. Jayvon, who was completely indifferent to Shakespeare when we first met him 10 weeks ago, was asking me during the act if he could say, “Why art thou fighting?” instead of another line because he thought the language sounded better, and he did great. Charles was without a doubt the star of the show, and probably the best Sir Toby Belch any rendition of Twelfth Night has ever had, wine bottle and all. The only hitch was Dale, who mysteriously disappeared into the bathroom 30 seconds before he had to step on stage. Recognizing this, I grabbed his captain hat and script, and nailed the performance on his behalf. He then stepped up and did a good job for his role in Act IV.
I was so proud of all of our actors, but I felt even better seeing how happy the performance made their family, friends, and teachers. I am going to miss our group at St. Joseph’s Villa, but I am happy that we were able to do something that hopefully had an impact on their lives.