Friday, January 22, 2010

It's Production Time!!

Our ensemble has been hard at work during the first month of 2010!

Here's a little of what we've been up to.

After our staged reading, we had an extensive talkback with the audience. This process is very helpful for us as artists. We tend to spend so much time with our script that it can be easy to lose perspective and forget that audiences will only see this story once. Keeping an open dialogue with our audience was helpful for our last minute revisions on our draft!

revising, revising, revising

We have been working so hard! Our ensemble is fully committed to the work, taking a Saturday and MLK day to rehearse. These rehearsals consisted of acting intensives where we experienced our characters through the lens of the Rasa Boxes activity. This activity has ancient roots in Indian dance training.

Rasa (a Sanskrit word) literally translates to "flavor."

Our goal with this exercise is to reflect upon the emotions and individual connections we each have to them. In performance, a genuine connection to our real feelings and attitudes will result in more specific and truthful acting.

We begin by writing and drawing. This activity is fun because we're all different and have a unique perspective to offer.

What images come to mind when you think of anger?

Does a line in one of your favorite songs sum up your idea of what love is?

What color comes to mind when you think of fear?

The next step in this process is to discover what our bodies have to say. We experiment with frozen images, or statues to fully embody the range of emotions. This is a great way to "feel" where each emotion lives in your body.

Where does your body hold tension when you're angry? Where is it released when you feel a surge of joy? How can your body reveal your attitudes about other characters and point of view about what's happening in the play?

These kinds of activities can help us develop blocking. Blocking is a term that describes the movement and positioning of actors on a stage. It clarifies characters, relationship and helps us get the play up on its feet.

Here we are in a recent rehearsal -- running through the piece!