A small rehearsal tale

Yeah….I skipped last week. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just not built for this sort of routine.

BUT I have posts in the works for later this week, and maybe there will even be another Fiction Friday! (no promises though)

I’ve just finished the second week of rehearsals for Twelfth Night, my summer show. It’s been a bit weird, mostly because we are rehearsing (and will be performing) in a public park, and so not only do we have to deal with the usual outside things (wet grass, losing light, mosquitos), but we also have to periodically try to discourage dogs and teenagers from encroaching on our space. Add to that the fact that we only just got our storage space for props and things this week (and I was SO glad to get them out of my car) and that we have to lug everything up a hill to said storage every night, and let’s just say it’s taken some getting used to.

But something happened at rehearsal yesterday that made me feel a little better about it. We were rehearsing as usual; it had been pretty quiet, and everything was going well. Now that we’ve gotten the initial blocking done, we’ve been having a good time playing with things and going more in depth with the scenes.

So we’re going through a scene when a gaggle of kids come running down the hill, and I sigh internally because we might have to ask them to leave if they start screaming (as five to seven year olds sometimes do). But our artistic director, who was there watching for the evening, went and talked to them, and eventually something kind of cool happened: the kids sat down with her and started to watch our rehearsal.

I don’t know how much they got, really–it is Shakespeare, and they were, as I said, quite young–but they were quiet, and when I looked back at them they seemed to be enjoying themselves. They even asked questions about the play, and our artistic director talked to them about it.

It was something very small, but I thought it was cool that we were something these kids just stumbled across, and that they seemed to get a kick out of watching what must have looked like a very elaborate game of pretend. Maybe they’ll even come see the play when it’s finished. But even if they don’t, it was really awesome to see these kids sitting there being entertained by our rehearsal of this 400 year old play.

Probably I will still complain about having to strike our set every night and chase gangs of kids on bicycles away from our space. But I guess there can be good things about rehearsing so publicly. (I realized that our rehearsals could sort of act an on going advert for the performances, since we’re always explaining to a few curious folk what we’re doing). Now if only we could do something about the mosquitos…


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