Today was my turn to lead the rehearsals as stage manager and stepping in as assistant director! This was nerve racking at first, but those jitters soon turned into excitement! When it comes to organisation – I love it! (must be the stage manager in me!) so I had organised a very full and creative day.
With several costumes, masks and puppets to make and numerous songs to write – we have a lot to do in a short space of time, so we had to get cracking early! To begin with we all did a group warm up and ended on a word association, focus game this was something Jenny (our foot in the door intern) had never played before but she battled with the rest of the scallywags and became the winner, not bad for a first attempt!
I then split the group up to play to everyone’s strengths, Jess and Jenny were on mask making, as I felt it was time to give Martin a day off and start making his friends, Chiaki the Crane and Old Billy. Here is the very first and rough prototype of the crane mask just after it had been put together.
Meanwhile, Tom and Flo got cracking with composing the music to accompany our poem for Chiaki, I played Japanese instrumental music into the room to get a feel for what traditional Japanese music sounds like, as we want it to sound as authentic as possible. We had the poem already so once we had a rough melody we then played around with the tune and the poem to make them fit together. During this time we shared the song with the whole group and we decided that it sounded much nicer spoken as opposed to being sung – It was great that all of the cast felt this way and were in agreement, it shows me we are all on the same page. Sadly due to illness our director wasn’t with us today, but thanks to technology we still managed to play it to her and she gave it her thumbs up, meaning we had one song complete!
Afterlunch we started to think about the puppets, how we will operate them, attach them, and in general them in general. After throwing around a few ideas, everyone agreed on wearing the butterfly puppets as a belt and operating them on the front of the body, this seemed to work well and will definitely be something we try with the final butterfly puppets for the show!
After a very busy day, it was time to leave the creative space of the rehearsal room – but not before I could set homework to be done by the following week! I was pleased of me once the cast had been given their tasks, they were already arranging to meet up and get it done before the next rehearsal , now if that isn’t the sign of a productive rehearsal and an eager team, then I don’t know what is!
It is fantastic to have everyone on board and working so hard together, I am loving every minute of being stage manager and assistant director. I am already excited for the next rehearsal as it means we are one step closer to having a complete show ready for the festival, and by the looks of things, its going to be a fantastic year for the 24:7 theatre festival!