Thursday, November 29, 2007

Rehearsal #10: Keeping It Real

Yes, we continue to meet and workout even after the show has opened. In fact, in order to perform in the coming weekend’s shows, you have to attend the rehearsal that week. Why? There’s so much about an improv show that you can’t learn until you’re up in front of an audience. After 4 shows, we have an idea of our strengths and our weaknesses and can go back and work on skills that need augmenting, or even work on skills we didn’t know we needed before we opened.

Tuesday night we worked on improv and acting. We did scenes where we explored the different roles and types of characters that may come up in the show. Tara wrote out lots of different types on pieces of paper and we pulled them before going out to do a scene, forcing us to try different things (although I kept getting “confidant” and Molly kept getting “ex”). Then during the scenes on person watching was in charge of the “keep it real bell”. Anytime our acting didn’t ring true, they rang the bell. Another person watching dolled out points based on how well we used the space, identified environments, used names, etc.

Towards the end of the evening, we hit our high point in a wonderfully rich family scene that could have been straight out of “A Very Eugene O’Neil Christmas”. While it was way darker than anything we’d want to do in the show, it illuminated a lot of interpersonal dynamics that we could explore in the show to give it more depth and a deeper holiday feel.

We call the show a “Holiday Musical” but year after year we avoid holidays in the show out fear of being too denominational. What we’ve discovered is, it’s not so much what holiday we’re celebrating. We can create a holiday feel simply by bring family and friends together, and letting them have random holiday traditions of their own.

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