Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chekhov, Canines and Cranberry Sauce

Friday was a marathon day of scene study presentations. We began our showing at 9:30 am. First up were a series of scenes from Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters. The class was divided into 4 acting groups each presenting their own selections from the play. We saw some scenes a few times which was interesting because it gave us a look at different interpretations. There was also a Q&A section where we discussed our rehearsals and process. There was a lot of pressure in the morning session as most of us felt we struggled the most with the Chekhov scenes. His work is very detailed and layered. He is the father of subtext and thus you are often not playing what you are saying in the scenes. And Chekhov has a million things to consider; many characters, heightened language, period dress and lots of drinking. Good times! I felt good about my work. It’s a work in progress of course, there are many more miles I could go with the scene but for three weeks and only two rehearsals with an instructor it was in a presentable place.

In the afternoon we delivered our contemporary scenes. The whole afternoon was generally more fun. We were in more of a comfort zone with the contemporary scenes. My group presented Mancub by Douglas Maxwell. This was a lot of fun for me as I got to play a dog named Ken. There was barking and howling, sniffing and rolling on my back. A little different from the calm and collected, corset bound character I had played in the morning’s session. Our presentation was very well received which naturally makes me glow with pride. People said it looked like we were having fun and we were. I mean, a dog! How is that not fun?

It was a long but exciting day. And fantastic to see our classmates in action. This group is bursting with talent and I am very proud to be amongst them and quite honored to have the opportunity to work with them.

Saturday we had Thanksgiving. Yummy!! One of our classmates, Mitchell (an American) agreed to host the event at his flat. Mitchell and another American, Marc did all the cooking and it was GOOD! We all pitched in money for the groceries and they did the rest. An amazing day with all the traditional dishes. Except pie. Which was a bummer but they don’t seem to have shortening over here so Marc couldn’t make his crust. They offered a cheesecake instead. Many of our non-American classmates joined us and celebrated their first Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the occasion and Friday’s presentation.

All and all it was a fabulous week. This week we start work with the playwrights who are writing a new script just for us. Yea! I will be working with the acclaimed David Harrower. I’m very excited. Also on the schedule this week; a three day seminar on site specific theatre. What’s that you ask? It’s theatre performed on site. For example if a play takes place in a park then it is performed in a park; if in a restaurant then it is performed in a restaurant, etc, etc, etc.

I’ll let you know how it goes! In the meantime, good luck with your holiday shopping. (Mine’s done! Ha!) Check in next week!

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