This meeting was really fun. We did blocking today and made sure everyone was entering and exiting from logical places and avoided the dreaded “stand in a line and read your lines.” We were missing two members so we’ll have to go over it again next week, but it was a very productive meeting. The participants loved talking about different ways to play their characters and we as directors gave them notes at the end which prompted discussion of motivations for characters, which was really fun. Next week we’ll go over the blocking again and choreograph the fight scene.

At this meeting, we had to do a little bit of recasting as we received a new member!! Everyone seems happy to be participating and I personally think that’s the best part of theatre. This week, we got everyone up on their feet to just start reading while being up and moving about with little to no instruction. Which leads into something that I found really cute and a little funny. The OSHER participants were really,¬†really into getting feedback from us, even though we’re not super qualified directors. They asked for us to give them pointers, not just things like “speak louder” or “stand here” but actual acting tips, which I think is really¬† cool because I (obviously) love theatre and I think this is something that’s probably fairly unique to our group. Next week we formally block the scene!

I wasn’t at the second meeting with the OSHER participants but I heard from my groupmates that they successfully cast our section of the play and that the participants helped in that process so they’d all be happy with their roles. Going forward, I think our plan is to begin blocking the section as well as continue to talk with the participants about props they’d like to use and a few potential costume pieces.

It’s certainly different working with OSHER participants than kids, but in some ways it’s rather similar. I was pleasantly surprised to see that many of them had an almost childish sort of joy and excitement towards participating in the Jepson Shakespeare Project. There was a variety in the reasons why each person chose to participate. Some loved Shakespeare, some just thought it would be interesting and something new to try and one woman actually expressed interest in the leadership portion. I think that brought to light one of the advantages of working with OSHER rather than children. We have the ability to have analytical discussions with them and learn from their thoughts and views. We have the chance to sit down and talk about the play more fully and relate it to our leadership studies.

Nonetheless, we still had a lot of fun. After introductions, we ended up watching the little cartoon version of Macbeth (and filling in some holes lol) and we enjoyed a good laugh together. As a theatre major, having fun in the theater is very important to me and I think that the OSHER participants have a sense of humor that’s closer to ours than children. I think it’ll make for a great semester full of laughs and fun.

For next week, we’ve asked the participants to look over the script again and come to rehearsal with an idea of one or two characters they might like to play. We decided to make the casting a group effort so that everyone feels as though they have an input and are valued. I’m looking forward to next week!