Warming up at the Barre!

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Friday, June 15th, 2007

We are gaining momentum. Had a marvelous warm-up at the barre with Veronica this morning. Imagine. Veronica Tennant is leading little ol’ me through plies and relevees. Outrageous! It’s all a bit awesome. And you can’t think about the enormity of it too much, because after all, we are just making theatre. But I do pinch myself every now and again. 

The rest of the morning was spent doing improv. The first one was improvising Penelope being in the hall with all the suitors. So all the Maids were playing suitors, and trying in one way or another to win her hand. So much fun, of course, doing the cross-gender stuff. Some really interesting tactics and relationships developed. 

The second improv lasted almost an hour. We improvised the Maids quarters. We were each given a one sentence “circumstance” or “action” or “relationship”, and that became what we played in the scene. First we created our world, our space, with places to work, to bathe, to sleep, to rest, and then we just went for it with our information. Then Penelope joined us, and it was fascinating to see how the relationships and energy change with the Queen in the room. And she had some information that we did not have. And that effected each of us in some way. So it became a little play quite quickly. It was fabulous. Jenny and Pam both said, it was like a really long game of playing house. 

This kind of work helps so much to establish ensemble, relationship, possibility. It’s a group of women with a vast scope, and it all holds so much promise.

After lunch, we were cast in the story-telling roles. It’s really tough waiting to hear what you will play in the story, apart from the Chorus. But this has been the brilliant thing about Josette’s work this week. We have realised that the play is a two-hander: Penelope and The Maids. And that that is really where our focus will be. I won’t tell you what that story casting is just yet, but it will likely trickle out as I write over the coming weeks. And things are still subject to change. 

Then we read the play for the first time. That’s wild. Reading the play at the end of the first week of rehearsals. But a great way to end our week. One can see the enormous potential of this piece, and how far we have to travel to make it a workable piece of theatre. It will be a challenging and exciting time ahead. 

We will have a two day weekend because the Macbeth/Macbett women have two shows tomorrow. And I am looking forward to meeting up with one of my childhood friends. Oh! It was Jenny’s 30th birthday yesterday, so there was some partying done last night. And a good time was had by all. On a side note, Poseidon has expressed his wrath with downpours for the last couple of days, and the Avon river has flooded its banks. That’s quite usual apparently, but it is a bit strange to watch the water level rise when you are living right on the bank of the river! We seem to be settling into our homes though, and we are all still vibrating at quite a pitch. 

More soon. Oh. Warren WILLS. Warren WILLS. Brilliant!

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