Friday, February 09, 2007

The Crown o'th' Earth does Melt

We're into difficult territory, faster than I'd expected or prepared for. Last night we worked Antony's death scene -- and, yes, in the original play, he dies at the end of Act Four, leaving the final act for Cleopatra. But no matter how you slice it, it's approaching the zero hour of the tragedy.

At this point, lots of practical considerations come into play. Death onstage is always difficult; plus, I've decided to use the stage in some new ways, opening up a discovery space upstage to represent Cleopatra's monument -- but since I'm not 100% sure how that part of the stage will be configured, there are a lot of physical uncertainties for the actors to contend with.

In spite of these obstacles, the cast has been really strong. It's a juggling act: remembering blocking, trying to get off-book (hence struggling with scripts), and trying to plumb the tragic depths of Shakespeare's majestic poetry. I'm awed by their devotion to the task, and it buoys me up as we move even further into tragedy -- ie. Act Five.

Meanwhile, good news on the design front: our last designer is in place. Please welcome Daniel Koyata, our props master. He's a MacEwan theatre production grad, and he seems very keen to join the adventure. Welcome aboard!

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