Monday, August 13, 2007

A night of theater games ….

Sunday, 8/12, we had ‘critical mass’ of the cast available for the first time, including the prior read-thrus & the first week of rehearsal, so a ‘get-to-know-you’ evening of theater games was appropriate. (The two boys were absent, unfortunately, but they’ll start to be integrated in this week.) Some basic name association exercises were employed, with most of the staff & crew present joining in for good measure. The divider between the two rooms was removed on Friday for an event, so we had a large space, which was used to good advantage. We did a version of ‘whisper down the lane’ where the initial actor mimed an action and that got passed down all 20 some actors one by one. Watching it morph from peeling a banana to a banana split with whipped cream to an oral sex act to, seemingly, drinking from an elongated flask was a sight to behold. (OK, glad the boys weren’t there for THAT one.) There were some group problem-solving exercises – ‘stones-across-the-creek’ – which were solved in unique ways by the two groups. (Team B definitely taking advantage of Team A’s experience.)

Laura Hitt started her first week in town as our dialect coach and did vocal warm-ups & exercises with the group. Melissa Carubia, music director, was up next, she had her portable keyboard and did musical warm-ups and lead a chorus or two of The Battle Hymn of the Republic and Amazing Grace. After the a cappella version of Amazing Grace in Stuff Happens last fall, actors joked that every Zeitgeist fall show needs Amazing Grace now – and not a version that will raise the hair on the back of Deirdre’s neck, a la LeAnn Rimes. The groups sounded good – there are a few vocal ringers – so plans for The Kentucky Cycle: The Musical continue as planned!

Meron lead them through ‘Intro to Stage Combat,’ leading Maureen to comment, “I’m never going to let myself get hit on stage, why am I doing this?!” Because it’s fun, Mo, come on! Earlier in the week, Peter Brown had commented that Theater Games make him physically ill. He never left the room to cough up his cookies, so maybe we’ve conquered his fear of ‘ensemble building.’ Near the end, I showed a ground plan of the set design on the chalkboard. Greg Maraio lead applause after the set presentation commenting, “Well we clapped for everyone else, didn’t we?!” Prav Darling, did costumes fittings to wrap up the night.

On her way out, Melissa Baroni observed, “Thanks for tonight, it was fun!” Here’s hoping there’s more nights of ‘fun’ up ahead!!

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