The view from my window. I tend to wake up early and this morning I was able to watch the sun rise and gradually bathe all the taller buildings in light – very welcome after the last two days of gray skies and rain.
I suppose it’s because I’m not used to a long day in the rehearsal studio. I have to acclimate myself. And my allergies are really bad this spring. Put them together and you will find me falling into bed at 10 pm, barely able keep my eyes open. I’m homesick, too – but that goes without saying.
I thought I might share some of the rehearsal process with you. I’m thinking you might be interested in what goes on in that space of time between the very first rehearsal and Opening Night. Friday was our very first day of rehearsal. The first few hours were spent in a ‘Meet and Greet’ where all of us got to meet each other, as well as members of the theater staff. Then the director shared his concept of the production, along with the model for the set and the costume renderings. We had a break for lunch and then it was time for the first read through of Twelfth Night. For those of us who will be coaching and assisting the director, this was the first time we were able to hear the actors’ voices and get a sense of what they will bring to their roles. Some of these actors I have worked with before. Others are new to me.
After the read through, we started on what is known as Table Work. Table Work involves sitting around – you guessed it – a table and going through the text. In this process, the actors in any given scene share the table with the director, the assistant director, the Dramaturg and the Voice and Text coach (me). We take an initial swing at the text, raising questions, answering questions, clarifying the meaning of Shakespeare’s text and the director’s vision for each scene. Table Work is one of my favorite things to do. I have always loved the communal process of analyzing the script, agreeing, disagreeing and coming up with answers. I learn a lot each time I do Table Work. This part of the process gives me a chance to correct some mispronunciations and clarify some word meanings. But I also have to decide what I’ll correct in that moment and what I will note and share with the actor later, when we work one-on-one.
We are about mid-way through Table Work and by the end of rehearsal Tuesday we should be done and ready to move onto blocking. More about that later. I also will start some of my individual work with the actors later today. I’ll share some of that process with you later in the week.
It’s Sunday. Normally we start rehearsals on a Tuesday but this time we started on Friday and that means I have tomorrow off. I have a book review scheduled for tomorrow’s post – a fascinating biography I think you will like.