Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Roman Drill!

I wasn't sure quite what to expect tonight, as Sam the drill instructor visited to put the Romans through their paces. No need to worry, as it turned out. Sam has trained in the Canadian military, so she was able to show our Roman actors how a real soldier moves. We went through all the basics: standing at attention, standing at ease, turning, marching in straight lines, marching in curves. The actors cheerfully forgot everything I'd tried to develop with them and embraced the new form of movement.

Afterwards, Sam said to me that she'd never taught drill to a more enthusiastic group. "Actors," I told her, "are like sponges. Give them something that might help their characters, and they'll soak it right up."

The trick, now, is retaining all of that soaked material. I will try to be rigorous about having them do drill as part of their warm-ups. By April, they'll be ready to ship off to war -- or, at the very least, to go on parade. Dismissed!

No comments: