Afternoon in Ithaca

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Thursday, July 5, 2007

Working through. Working out the detailed tracks for 13 people in big group scenes. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of focus. In the first 20 minutes or so of the play there are two Choruses, two huge group scenes, and a Song which leads into a big traveling sequence. Very complicated. But the Spartan scenes are, I think (I hope) the most time consuming ones. They took the entire morning. 

The afternoon brought us to Ithaca, where things settle down a bit, and the play becomes more character driven. So the afternoon was a bit gentler, and the rehearsal was split for a time with music calls and scene work. Some people even got to go home a bit early. But not me, I was working on a couple of my scenes with Penny. 

Penny Downie is fantastic. A woman brimming with enthusiasm and energy. She is very generous both on and off stage, and is always seeking and engaging ways of clarifying Penelope’s story. She’s funny and vivacious and a real treat to work with.

The shops in Stratford close at 5:30. And that is that. There’s one grocery store that’s open until 7pm, but we’re called most nights until 7:15 at least. This makes eating a bit of a challenge these days. I’m fortunate in that I’m an early riser and I head off in the morning and pick some things up before work. But some of the others are finding the cupboards bare. 

One great thing about England (at least it’s great for times like these) is the amount of prepared food available. I’m a huge fan of the vegetarian scotch egg, and the porkless pie, and various other faux meat sausages, filets, and flanks. Quite amusing. I am, however, distressed by the amount of packaging waste. The recycling is extremely limited, and all these convenient foods mean plenty of over-packaging, and consequently plenty of garbage. I remember being distressed by the same thing when I was here six years ago. Can a Canadian girl make a difference? I don’t see how.

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