Monday, May 18, 2009

Shakespeare Show Time!

It’s here! Show Time!! Tonight is opening night of ‘King Lear’. We are all very excited. There are some nerves, yes, but mainly I’m thrilled. We have been working our booties off and now we get to deliver the goods. The show looks fantastic! The costumes on the set with the lighting and sound are brilliantly effective. So kudos to design and tech!! I hope my classmates are proud of themselves. ‘King Lear’ is not an easy piece. It is one of Shakespeare’s most complex and also one of his darkest works. I’m going to give a special shout out to Jeremy Crawford who is playing Lear. Lear is a major benchmark for the careers of many actors. It’s a dream role for a lot of people and that is because it is so incredibly challenging. Lear is an old man but don’t let that fool you he can be a tyrant. Not really a nice guy. But then neither are his two eldest daughters who are plotting against him. The character of Lear has a wild journey in the play. He starts as a powerful king but slowly loses his control and his mind. Lear is usually played but older actors. Having the real life experience to aid in greater understanding of Lear as he ‘crawls toward death’ is a humongous help for the actor playing the man. Jeremy does not have that benefit. At just shy of thirty, Jeremy had to find Lear using only his imagination and research. And he has done it with the finesse of actors twice his age and experience. It is a major accomplishment and I hope he knows it! (Are you reading this JC?). So ‘bravo’ to Jeremy!

Amongst the shows this week, we will also continue to rehearse ‘Julius Caesar’. The ‘Lear’ cast won’t get much of a break as we work them into ‘Caser’. They are filling out the core cast with crowd scenes and bit parts. And I, who am part of the core cast, will be getting back into it after nearly a week away doing ‘Lear’. ‘Caesar’ opens next Tuesday. And then the week after that we take the shows on the road. We are going to Ullapool up in the Highlands. That will be my first trip to the Highlands and I can't wait. I would like to meet a sheep and a Highland cow. Think I’ll have any luck? I’ll keep you posted.

Yesterday we got back into the rehearsal room for my research project show. It’s called ‘Dead In Scotland’. I’m the writer and an actor in the piece and a couple of my classmates are filling out the other acting role and the role of director. Many of us in the program are doing three shows at once. I won’t deny that juggling three shows has been a big ‘ol challenge. Many of us have our days when we get stressed and tired. But when this year is over we will look back in awe at what we were able to accomplish. ‘DIS’ and the other project shows are being presented at the Arches (that’s a local theatre space) the week of June 15th. So basically, week get back from the Highlands on the weekend and Monday we start tech/dress rehearsal week for the research shows and the following week we're on! Crazy. Absolutely crazy. But we’ll look back and… blah blah blah. No really, it is all wonderful and I can’t wait to see everybody’s project show.

Alright I have a fight call at noon so I better get shakin’. What’s a fight call? A fight call is a block of time set aside before a rehearsal or show for the actors to run through their fight choreography. The fight director and/or fight captain is on hand to make sure everything is correct and safe. We run it slow and repeat, gradually bringing it up to performance speed. It’s important to run through these things. You don’t want to go into the show cold and bumble it. Not very safe. So at noon I get to run my fight/death scenes. Good times!
I’ll let you know how it goes!

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