Sunday, April 25, 2010

third week of rehearsals!

so we are officially all memorized! (or we're supposed to be) tonight was the first rehearsal completely off book and I have to say the play is really coming together. there are a few kinks that still need to be worked out, but for the most part things are going extremely well. tomorrow night's rehearsal will supposedly have props which will be great. you'd be surprised at how difficult it is to run through the motions of a play without all the props necessary, and for this production there are a lot of props! this past week has been mostly memorizing lines, but also developing a very strong character. Alice is kind of a difficult character because she is the most "normal" of the family, but she is still part of the family. so I have been trying to find Alice's quirks, and finding a way to portray them on stage.

I also heard a new term today in rehearsal that I think can help actors very much when trying to develop characterization. our director called it "acting keys". acting keys is when you determine what would your character carry in his or her pockets. do they even have pockets? do they carry a purse? do they not carry anything? what would your character have on them on a day to day basis? all of these questions seem so trivial at first, but are actually extremely helpful when putting together a fully embodied character.

18 days until opening night!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

second week of rehearsals!

i'm already exhausted! but the process is still going very well! we are still in the middle of trying to memorize lines and working with very minimal props. lines are due next sunday so i've been working hard to get those cemented in my head. next step is beginning to make some strong character choices. there is one scene in particular where my character goes through a complete arch on stage that I feel I need to work on. but its very difficult to do that when you're still carrying around your script!

tonight we have a day off, and we had a short rehearsal yesterday because there is another show this week in the Lab Theatre. it's Tony Kushner's "A Bright Room Called Day". the play was extremely moving and I felt that the whole production was extremely well done. it reminded me why I love the theatre so much. because it moved me and affected me in a way that just reading a textbook can't do. the show is in association with Holocaust Week here on campus, and is a very powerful piece about love, hope, and the destruction that can come out of carelessness. Also, there was a great quote in the program that I have to share.

"You'd be surprised how much being a good actor pays off". -Ronald Reagan, May 1, 1984

so, I continue to strive to be a "good actor". as promised, here is a rehearsal photo from the other night. the set has been primed and none of the furniture is the actual set furniture. it's always exciting walking into rehearsal because you never know what work has been done on the set or what new props we'll have to work with. we have some idea of what everything will look like, but we're still in the very early stages.

this is a scene of craziness just before the Kirby's come over for dinner. I can't wait to work more on this production! it's been so much fun so far I can't even imagine what it will be like once the set is done and we have all our props to work with.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

first week of rehearsals!

so my effort to keep up with my blog has apparently failed this past month. but good news! I'm back to a bunch of hard work in the theatre! it feels great to be back and spending so much of my time working on our next production. the play is called "You Can't Take It With You", a comedy written in the 1930's by Kaufman and Hart. here is a plot synopsis of the play that I found online:

"At first the Sycamores seem mad, but it is not long before you realize that if they are mad, then the rest of the world is madder. In contrast to these delightful people are the unhappy Kirbys. Tony, the attractive young son of the Kirbys, falls in love with Alice Sycamore and brings his parents to dine at the Sycamore house on the wrong evening. The shock sustained by Mr. and Mrs. Kirby, who are invited to eat cheap food, shows Alice that marriage with Tony is out of the question. The Sycamores find it hard to realize Alice's view. Tony knows the Sycamores live the right way with love and care for each other, while his own family is the one that's crazy."

my character, Alice, has been quite interesting to play. on some levels, I feel like I am very closely connected to Alice, and on other levels she is nothing like me. I can't wait to continue developing her character in rehearsals. the great thing about rehearsals is being able to constantly explore and discover new things about the character you are portraying!

I have to say that I am extremely excited about this play. we have a very talented cast and a hilarious script. there is one downside, however. we open in four and a half weeks! the pre-production process of this show is going to be VERY short and I feel like before I know it this play will be another one for the history books. right now I am in the middle of trying to memorize lines which always seems to be a challenge in the midst of trying to complete all my other school work. however, one method I learned from a fellow actor has been very helpful! I wrote down all of my cue lines (the line right before your own is said) on one side of a note card, and my line on the other. these not cards are a great way to test yourself, as well as familiarize yourself with other lines in the play. I highly recommend it! writing the notecards themselves is definitely time consuming, but worth it in the end. I am going to try and memorize all of Act I, Scene I as well as Act I, Scene II before tomorrow night's rehearsal, but this is how many lines that is...

time to get to work!

p.s. pictures of our awesome set and rehearsal photos to come soon! (hopefully)