Last weekend, we worked on putting two bits together that we have worked on previously. This will eventually become a set scene in the piece. We put the bit with Kelly and Shaun together with a bit that Ian and I did a while ago. First, in order to do this, we had to finish the movement between Kelly and Shaun that we had worked on in a previous rehearsal. I took Shaun’s place for the time being and we were able to finish the movement and work out some other movement for when only one person is talking. Then we went back to a bit that Ian and I did a while back in rehearsals. We sort of recreated what we had done before, but kept it improvised. We also started improving dialogue. Then we picked some places, in the scene that Ian and I had created, to pause and have the dialogue that Kelly and Shaun had created spoken. The first time that the dialogue was spoken, we had only one side of the dialogue spoken by one person, while the other person simply faced away from them. Then Ian and I continued with our scene and we found another place to stop. Next we decided that the one sided dialogue needed some movement as well. We brought out a white sheet that was in our rehearsal room and the two people played tug of war with it while only one person said their dialogue. This activated the dialogue much more. We came up with a movement that could be done for the first half of the dialogue as well. The sheet was dropped by the person who is speaking and the person who is not speaking tries to give the sheet back to the speaker. The speaker does everything s/he can not to get the she back in her/his hands. This is where we ended out first rehearsal that weekend.
When we came back together on Sunday, Kelly and I did the movement that we had finished for the dialogue between she and Shaun. Then we had Kelly and Shaun do the movement. We were unsure which coupling we liked better. We decided that, in combining these two scenes, we would make the partners fluid so that one couple wasn’t together for the entire scene. This was difficult to maneuver, but we figured out a switching order and some transitions and tried it out. This was rough, but it gave us an idea of how the scene will go and how to transition between partners. We also decided that during the bit that Ian and I originally created, the actors would not talk.
I wrote this last weekend when I had some spare time and a piece of paper, but I haven’t been able to post it until now! Here goes.
Last weekend we worked with Chelsea for a short rehearsal. Three of us shouted things at her having to do with the different roles that she has. By roles, I mean the psychological concept of the different jobs that we, as humans acquire, like daughter, student, girlfriend, actor. I feel that Chelsea is a very good example of role conflict and so we exhibited that by having her do an activity (a dance class) while we shouted these things at her to make her feel the role conflict. We talked about how it made her feel and what she would do if she did not have role conflict; if she didn’t feel the need to fulfill each role completely. We will do this again after I make lists for all of us of things that we could shout at her. This will build into her breaking out into a dance that she/we will choreograph.
This past weekend, in our first rehearsal (Saturday), we used the script that I made up of Kelly and Shaun’s conversation from a previous rehearsal. I wanted to create some movement with these words, but I didn’t exactly know what the process would be. Perhaps this is a backward way of working in devising—at least its not how we usually work—and I think that was a little frustrating to the rest of the people who were working, but I don’t see any harm in trying it. So I typed up the text, and the first thing we did was have two people who are not Shaun and Kelly just read the text. Hilary-Ann and Chelsea did this. The first read through was funny. Kelly and Shaun were laughing at themselves and could not believe some of the things that they had said to each other. They said that it was weird hearing their own words because they judged themselves and they had to hear over and over things they regretted saying, or thought sounded ridiculous after hearing someone else say it. We concluded that this is a very difficult text to work with. Its heavy, but I think it’s important because I think it’s a conversation that many people have in relationships. So we worked through the text in different ways. Hilary-Ann and Chelsea read it again. Then I asked them to start moving. Ian and I read the text while they moved to it, almost as if the text were music. They seemed to have a hard time with this. We then decided to have Kelly and Shaun move to the text, since they knew it better, as they were the ones who created it. The movements were interesting to watch. They talked about how they were sometimes unsure of when they were pushing and when they were pulling. We had them move in a few different ways, while other people read the text. Sometimes they were not allowed to touch or use objects; sometimes they could only use each other. Then we had them switch places with they other person. So the text that they were “speaking,” though it was still being read for them, was the other person’s. This created some very interesting movement. From there, I took the movements that spoke to me and we started putting that together into a little routine. We got about half way through this routine. We will finish it in our next rehearsal.
In the rehearsal the day after that (Sunday), we worked with Hilary-Ann. We went back to some previous work that we had done with the masks and talked about a situation that would make her mask uncomfortable. It was decided that this would be a situation in which someone was trying to delve deeper into understanding her. For this activity, she and Kelly just sat and talked and Kelly was meant to tell Hilary-Ann something very personal about herself in order to get Hilary-Ann to do the same. It ended up being what I think to be a very philosophical conversation that we can use and continue to work off of. I am currently making another script out of their words, and I would like to use it as a possible text under some movement that we have previously devised.
These sections that we have been working on recently are so exciting to me. Everyone has been really giving of themselves, which makes the work so much better. After we talked about the conversation that Kelly and Hilary-Ann had, Hilary-Ann wanted to talk about our “masks.” These are things that we’ve been using to describe or visualize walls that we put up in order for people to not see a weakness that we have, or something that we don’t like about ourselves. Hilary-Ann wrote them out in the form of an objective. Here is a photo of them written out.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these needs are pretty similar. I suppose it could seem that we’ve strayed from the original question of what love means in different cultures, but I don’t think we have. I think all of these huge wants that, for the most part, are unachievable are a product of our culture. And how do we show these needs, or attempt to obtain them? Through our relationships, whatever they may be. I’d say we’re right on target.