Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Week Two: Walk Like An Egyptian

Yesterday, I couldn't make it to rehearsal (I was celebrating my wife's successful Ph.D. thesis defense -- hurray!), so I left matters in the capable hands of Sarah and Christine Frederick -- the latter being a longtime friend and a skilled bellydancer. They split the actors up into Romans and Egyptians, and worked out a series of movements that could help to distinguish them onstage.

Comments this evening were varied. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, but the women found the bellydancing daunting -- they all agreed it was a complicated business, and they'd need more work before they could do it onstage with confidence. The men seemed impressed enough by what they saw, though -- apparently it was difficult for the Roman soliders to remain in rank & file while all those Egyptians were sashaying around them. I think this angle bears more investigation.

Tonight, we read through two thirds of the play, walking on each line and talking about the shifting status in the play. Interesting thoughts about the relative culpability of Antony & Cleo -- everyone agrees that she's manipulative, but opinion seems divided over whether she's really to blame for Antony's downfall. John said something interesting: "Both of them are narcissists, and they see themselves reflected in each other." Sounds like a recipe for disaster, indeed.

I like where we're at, but there's a lot more work to be done. The rhythms and movements are still just vague sketches; they need precision and confidence. And the characters will, of course, have to be bigger -- always bigger. But tonight, I saw some flashes of the potential heights to which this cast can climb. Onwards and upwards!

1 comment:

Dan said...

(I was celebrating my wife's successful Ph.D. thesis defense -- hurray!)

That's great news! Congratulations to her!

(I'm still at it, myself...)