Report, 9/24/08

Present: Dale, Marc, Greg, Dan, Kevin, Jeff A., Jeff B., Scott

First, welcome aboard to Jeff Allen, who’s been busy directing The Odd Couple at NCTC, and to Scott Stroud, who found out what we were up to and joyfully signed on.

Second, tonight was our last night at the dance studio. We’ll be working at the Park on Saturday and in Dale’s back yard thereafter.

We worked through Act IV. Scene 1 covers Coriolanus’s fond farewells to his family and friends. Blocking problems abound, although those may vanish after we discover new ways of dealing with the space in the Park.

Scene 2 is a lot of fun, with Volumnia giving the tribunes a piece of her mind.

We’ve cut Scene 3; it’s useless. Scene 4 is short and sweet.

And then there’s Scene 5. The servants are comic; we will have to work on props and the physical comedy. Dale and Jeff enjoy themselves a little too much during Aufidius’s speech.

Scene 6 is the “café scene,” in which the self-congratulatory tribunes and Menenius are stunned to find that Martius has turned against Rome. It worked the best of the scenes tonight, possible because we had worked it over extensively before.

Scene 7 is nice and short, just Aufidius musing over his boyfriend’s hubris.

We then had an inconclusive discussion over Dale’s suggestion to cut V.1 and V.2. Many suggestions: start V.1 halfway through; cut V.1 but leave V.2; cut a lot of the Monty Python guards in V.2; cut the end of Aufidius’s speech in IV.7 and segue straight into V.3.

Problems with all the approaches, of course. Best would be to leave the scenes in, but the general feeling is that we need to cut something in order to get the play down to two and a half hours. Discussion was tabled.

After everyone else left, Dale, Marc, and Jeff A. went back to I.3 and gave it a whirl. Totally workable.

7 thoughts on “Report, 9/24/08

  1. Would it be a betrayal of JRB’s vision to request more rehearsal time during each week?

    I don’t think so. I, for one, am trying to overcome that old “mind/body problem” when it comes to assimilating the words. I want to get to the point where I can, as JRB desires, just encounter other characters and see what happens. The additional rehearsal would just be to help with text assimilation. JRB expects the spontaneous playing to come from actors who really “know the play backwards and forwards,” and hell, our lives and schedules make that very difficult. Even working by myself and doing physical activities while running lines (in an effort to get them flowing without too much deliberation) is not fully mending the split.

    Plus we need to open up our physical relationships as characters. As Coriolanus and Aufidius demonstrated last night, there are endless possibilities to explore. Extra work might help us all loosen up and bit, play with possibilities. Right now, each run-through of a scene is feeling a bit like a mini final “performance,” and we (I, really, speaking just for myself) close myself off to all but the the most rudimentary options for the sake of getting through “the performance.” What think we?

  2. I like the idea of more rehearsals, but not until I’ve got my lines down. Maybe in another week? (I have great hopes for this weekend, line-wise.)

  3. I confess that I already struggle to balance work/life (there’s a spin off discussion for you), so I don’t know that more rehearsals will mean great consistency from me. What I may do it provide more options for me, as Saturdays are particularly difficult just now.

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