The Dogs of Stratford

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Friday, June 22, 2007

One of the other things I love about having a bay window looking over the Avon River is watching the dogs and their walkers. Since my view encompasses a long hedge and a large playing green, and the path beside the river that runs adjacent to both, I witness lots of very interesting dog interaction. Some owners cycle by with a couple of Shepherds running beside them. There’s one old Corgi who absolutely refused to go on to the grass when her walker took off across the field. She just sat down on the path until he returned. Lots of Jack Russells, and Border Collies, and a black Standard Poodle, LOTS of Corgies, and Westies. Highly entertaining. 

And speaking of entertaining, many of us went to see The Seagull tonight. Not, perhaps, as successful as King Lear, but nonetheless, an excellent production with highly skilled craft from the entire creative team. I love the way the two productions were linked by elements of design and casting, and subtle little elements that created these lovely echoes. And a really fine ensemble piece this one. Again, as with Lear, nothing overwhelmed the play. This is so important in interpreting the classics, and such a fine balance to find. So. Another great night at the theatre. 

In rehearsal we had another day of play. A person named Joey came in to give us a workshop on gender. Fascinating. It’s amazing to find out how arbitrary gender is. We did several improvs just to illuminate our own preconception. And then we applied some of this work to character improvs for both the male characters we play, and for the female. 

The afternoon was spent in music rehearsal, with individual voice calls spread throughout, and also costume meetings with Rosa, our brilliant designer. This is where the child in me comes out. How I love the costumes!! And there will be lots of dress-up for all of us to do in this production where we are constantly shape shifting to tell the story. I find it very important to my process, and a good part of the way I find character is from the outside in. So it was nice to get a first personal taste of how we will look. 

And that was the day. Josette flew off to Sweden to have some time with her family. And as I said, a number of us headed out for an evening in the theatre. It’s yummy to be here. So grateful. So engaged. 

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