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The nitty-gritty

So now it’s down to the nitty-gritty.

Questions to be answered, with some thoughts on answering them. Discuss.

Performances

  • When shall we do this? I’m thinking the last two Saturdays in October, the 18th and 25th. How about Sundays as well?
  • Where shall we do this? The new city park is actually not a bad performance space. Marc and I tested out the acoustics back in May, and while the last audience row cannot hear because of traffic noise, the rest of the seating is good. I am emailing Cleatus Phillips to see if we can get the space. What time of day should we do it? I don’t know that the park has lights for evening performances.
  • I offered our services to NCTC for a benefit performance or two, but their October is full. Should we offer a November performance for them?

Rehearsals

  • When do we rehearse? This is the sticky question, isn’t it? I am going to propose a 2-hour rehearsal on Wednesday nights, and a 4-hour rehearsal on Saturdays, maybe 10-2 with a working lunch break in there. Given that we’re trying to use John Russell Brown’s “Free Shakespeare” concept and not over-work the play, this might be the ideal amount of time. Other ideas?
  • Where do we rehearse? My back yard is always available. How about the Newnan School of Dance? Wesley Woods has actually offered us a space.
  • I hope everyone is planning on this being a collaborative piece. I am not intending to “direct” this. Why should I, when we have so many incredible talents working on it?

Casting

  • It has not escaped my notice that no one has claimed the three of the four biggie roles. Be giving some thought to this.
  • Should we have auditions? I’m thinking we may not need them. So far, our company consists of
    • Dale
    • Marc
    • Jeff
    • Kevin
    • People who have said yes: Craig Humphrey, Matthew Bailey, Greg Lee (although that was last spring)
    • People who have said they’re interested: Jobie Johnson, Jeff Allen, John Caldwell
    • People I’ve contacted who haven’t said no: Dave Dorrell, Dan Coleman
    • Others: two young actors from NCTC that Jeff said would be good who are too young to be in Odd Couple and who want to do something this fall
    • Anyone else?

Costuming

  • We’ve already talked about this: olive drab cargo pants, black and/or gray t-shirts, work/combat boots. Accessorize for individuation.

Set

  • Keep it simple: some trestles, a couple of big pieces of plywood, maybe some big-ass pieces of fabric to wave around.

Combat

  • We need swords, and a fight trainer.

Getting started

  • We need to get everyone who’s interested together and swear an oath to accomplish this, plus hammer out some details. We need to do this fairly soon, because we will run out of time if we don’t.

Did I leave anything out?

30 Comments

  1. Dale wrote:

    I am going to jump in and say I’d like to take a shot at Aufidius unless someone objects. I’m a little scared of the role, which is why I want to do it.

    Sunday, July 27, 2008 at 7:01 am | Permalink
  2. jeff wrote:

    I’m good at shouting and being an aggressive ass. I wish I were kidding, but I’m not. Subtlety is not my thing. So either Coriolanus or one of the tribunes would probably be a good fit for me. Having said that, I won’t get my feelings hurt, either way. I’m up for anything. I wouldn’t mind doing a bunch of the bit parts, strung together.

    As for rehearsal times, the Wed-Sat. thing sounds good. But I do have some commitments on some Saturdays, as president of the Trail of Tears Association. For instance, the second Sat. in Sept. is out, for me.

    I would love to do it at NCTC in Nov. if they have the space. But if it doesn’t work out, no worries. We can be our own thing.

    Has anyone asked Dean Jackson? He’s busy these days, but maybe. He’d be good as a weasel.

    I hate to sound like Marc, but we probably don’t need a “director.” This can be a collaborative process. But we do need an organizer, so thank you Dale for taking up that role.

    Any of those rehearsal places sounds fine by me. We also might be able to snag the upstairs of one of the downtown buildings (but it may be prohibitively hot.)

    First impressions are important, so I hope we can pull this off. I’d like to do more of these in the future. (At our own pace, in our own time, in our own way.)

    Sunday, July 27, 2008 at 10:37 am | Permalink
  3. jeff wrote:

    And I think Dale would make an EXCELLENT Aufidius.

    By the way, how are we going to treat the homosexual subtext between Aufidius and Coriolanus? Anyone else pick up on that?

    Sunday, July 27, 2008 at 10:38 am | Permalink
  4. Dale wrote:

    “Anyone else pick up on that?”

    Mercy, child, you’d have to be seriously damaged not to see it. “We have been down together in my sleep.” Yum!

    Sunday, July 27, 2008 at 11:05 am | Permalink
  5. Dale wrote:

    But to answer your question: I vote we play it as straight and as butch as we can. The homoeroticism will take care of itself.

    Sunday, July 27, 2008 at 11:07 am | Permalink
  6. jeff wrote:

    Agreed.

    One note: I won’t be here during the first week of August. So if I’m to meet with you fellas, it will have to be either before or after that.

    Sunday, July 27, 2008 at 12:05 pm | Permalink
  7. Turff wrote:

    I’m gonna be hard to fit schedule wise, but if we can make it work, I’m good for whatever role. Given my issues, it would be better if it wasn’t a major one, though. In general, October would probably work better for me.

    Sunday, July 27, 2008 at 2:21 pm | Permalink
  8. jeff wrote:

    OK, bitches, it’s ON. I went back to the gym today, for the first time in months. Am beginning a daily regiment. This play better be for real.

    Sunday, July 27, 2008 at 9:59 pm | Permalink
  9. Dale wrote:

    Shall we set Wed., Aug. 13, 7:00 pm, as our first meeting? Marc, is the studio available?

    Wendy LaRotonda from the city is my contact. Jeff, do you know who she is?

    Monday, July 28, 2008 at 8:56 am | Permalink
  10. jeff wrote:

    Never met her.

    Monday, July 28, 2008 at 9:39 am | Permalink
  11. marc wrote:

    The studio is available Wednesday nights and Saturdays.

    I want to try and convince Galen to undertake this if it’s not going to turn into Timon of Athens (everyone backing out–bad example to set for the boy, y’unnerstan).

    I fear the fear factor as a motivator (setting performance dates based on a few blog sentences ending in exclamation points and then, dammit, we’re scheduled so let’s get our act together and do it with three people).

    Rather, let’s promise an open-ended rehearsal process with BEER, BOOZE, AND BROADS and mushrooms, of course. We want to pull these guys in.

    I was cast as Volumnia, which is fine. It’s flattering to be cast. I’m eager to play other diverse supporting things. Chameleon, that’ me, I tell myself.

    I’m wondering about a sit down and read through before formal things begin…maybe choice of roles will begin to take shape as we read and mess with it.

    Sorry, Dale, you knew I’d resist setting a date at this stage. Whatever.

    Monday, July 28, 2008 at 6:08 pm | Permalink
  12. jeff wrote:

    The only problem with that is that we’re going to need to reserve the park, right?

    We don’t want it to get too late so that it’s too cold for folks to be outdoors.

    Monday, July 28, 2008 at 6:55 pm | Permalink
  13. Dale wrote:

    Jeff is right. Being all open-ended is fine for state-supported theatres (and actors) but we have to schedule a venue, and *my* commitment is *not* open-ended.

    However, I totally agree that casting can be flexible/fluid until we’ve gotten into it.

    Monday, July 28, 2008 at 9:07 pm | Permalink
  14. jeff wrote:

    I think Marc was just testing the waters to see if we’d give him free beer.

    Monday, July 28, 2008 at 10:59 pm | Permalink
  15. Terry wrote:

    Even though I am not able to take part in this show I trust my comments are still acceptable.

    I was really hoping that Marc would take the part of Volumnia.

    And I really wish I could do this as I see myself as Menenius.

    Go to it “boys” and make this happen.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 4:22 am | Permalink
  16. Dale wrote:

    Explaining oneself is sometimes hard to do on a tiny screen with fingertip keyboards. Let me try again.

    First of all, by all means bring Galen on board. The more the merrier! And certainly, Terry, your comments are always welcome.

    I don’t know that I would use the word “fear” to describe the motivator when a deadline is in place. “Anxiety,” yes, of course; it’s like Pseudolus at the opening of Forum when he places the cast under the aegis of Thespis, then flinches. But fear as a driving force? Not in my experience.

    You (Marc) seem to feel as if all the exploratory juiciness of rehearsing this show will be drained away just by knowing we have an October 13 opening. That’s unwarranted. We’ll still be in the thick of it, playing, choosing, discarding, amplifying.

    However, knowing that we are preparing a product will make an important difference in that we will eventually have to make choices. Otherwise, we just keep playing. Eternal masturbation. One does want the crisis, after all. Difficult though it may be, elusive as it sometimes is. I want not just to explore this text, I want to perform it.

    And of course in excruciatingly practical terms, we do have to book a venue. We do have to publicize what we’re doing. We do have to gather and prepare props, set pieces, costumes, etc. We do have to schedule around people’s real lives even to get it rehearsed, much less performed.

    (Imagine we finally have it ready for the world, after five or six months of working our asses off, then trying to schedule performance dates: No, I have GHP auditions for those three weekends… I’d already planned to go to New York that weekend… My wife is having surgery and I’ll be out for the next six weeks… You see the problem?)

    Time is, as you suggest, not our friend in this. But neither would Time be more generous to us if we failed to submit to its limits. Remember the Sibyll.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 6:44 am | Permalink
  17. Dale wrote:

    What if our first meeting were Saturday, August 16? I think maybe more people could join us then, and we could jump right in with scene work.

    I’ve got the sticky tablets and markers all ready to go. 🙂

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 6:45 am | Permalink
  18. marc wrote:

    So many enthusiastic huzzas after your comment #16 from committed thespians far and wide, my “fears” are gone. Forward.

    Free beer. Yes (exclamation point)

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 7:53 am | Permalink
  19. jeff wrote:

    What did Dale say about “sticky” something-or-other?

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 8:51 am | Permalink
  20. Dale wrote:

    BTW, we’ve passed 4000 comments on this blog.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 9:44 am | Permalink
  21. Jeff Bishop wrote:

    That means we three need to get a life.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 10:35 am | Permalink
  22. Dale wrote:

    Which I thought was the point of Coriolanus, actually.

    Also, if I win the lottery, we’re all coming to the beach for two weeks to rehearse this. Enough vodka and enough sun and we can have this on the boards in no time. I speak from experience: I have the First Citizen’s first scene done, and Aufidius’s first several scenes as well. Play on(exclamation .)

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 11:11 am | Permalink
  23. Dale wrote:

    Also, plastic sports bottles are excellent delivery systems. I’m just sayin’.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 11:13 am | Permalink
  24. Mike Funt wrote:

    This sounds really fun fellas. Wish I could be a part of it. If there’s anything I can do to help from my neck of the woods, let me know.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 3:54 pm | Permalink
  25. Dale wrote:

    You could send a crew of documentarians to chronicle this as the next desperately lame reality show.

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 8:15 am | Permalink
  26. marc wrote:

    And then we could film the reality show crew attempting to film us. And as we sort out our characters’ narrative spines, the reality show people would be attempting to create narrative spines for us in order to make us “interesting,” and we would attempt to create narrative spines for the reality crew in order to make our film “interesting.” This has potential.

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at 9:59 am | Permalink
  27. Dale wrote:

    OK, performances will be Sat/Sun, Oct 25/26. (There’s a wedding in the park on Oct 18.)

    Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 1:24 pm | Permalink
  28. jeff wrote:

    Appropriate for Halloween, with all the blood and everything.

    Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 4:45 pm | Permalink
  29. marc wrote:

    Looks like this undertaking my be a “Full Monty” for the Newnan Ladies’ Bookclub Set. We’ll give them their money’s worth.

    Free Shakespeare in the Park, right?

    Friday, August 1, 2008 at 11:29 am | Permalink
  30. marc wrote:

    Yes, I see it. Interesting typo…

    Saturday, August 2, 2008 at 6:37 am | Permalink