Tuesday, May 26, 2009
"here is a marvelous convenient place for our rehearsal!"
Last night, the Grassroots Shakespeare Company met for its first rehearsal, in a small corner of Canyon Glen Park, just a few miles up Provo Canyon. This is a photo of the stage, discretely sequestered from the rest of the park, and nestled against a wooded slope with a few rows of gnarled benches for an audience. It was here that we met to explore our cue scripts for the first time, and I'm happy to report that, excepting two minor errors, they work.
Relying on cue lines alone to signal entrances, exits, and our own dialogue, each of us stumbled giddily through the play, discovering relationships and plot developments as they happened. Of course, some believe that Shakespeare's players performed in much the same way - discovering events as they unfolded - but with no rehearsal at all! They would simply memorize their cue scripts, arrive the morning of the performance for a quick fight call or choreography session, and then perform the play for the first (and often ONLY) time, right then and there!
Using cue scripts, you get a sense of just how much embedded stage direction exists in Shakespeare's work. His text tells the actor EVERYTHING they need to know about the action, the plot, and the characters, because the text is all the actors had! It's already been a rewarding process, just to explore the way these cue scripts work, and I think it will translate into a very immediate and fresh portrayal of Much Ado About Nothing.
If you're excited to participate in our production as an audience member, please share your excitement with your friends and family by sending them a link to this post, or to our facebook fan page! We hope to see all of you soon!
Our performances will be every Monday, Friday, and Saturday night in June, with the exception of the 15th, 19th, and 20th. We'll begin performances around 7pm, in local parks and at arts festivals. To stay appraised of our schedule, become a fan on Facebook, or email us at GrassrootsShakespeare@gmail.com.