“Wisely and slow…”*

Last night we had our first stumble-through, which is the rehearsal where we find out how all of the scenes we’ve been rehearsing individually fit together in the context of the whole play. We do a run, from the top of show. I’m a big picture kind of guy, so I always enjoy the first stumble-through. And tonight was no exception.

What’s important about this type of first run is seeing how you fit in the larger story — you’ve already figured out (or have a handle on) where you fit in your own story in the play, but now is the time to see how that story interlaces with the other characters’ and also with Shakespeare’s overall story. And because of the way this play is structured, last night was the first time many of us had seen a whole other section of the cast and what they’ve been working on. As Ziman said, “It’s really fun to see the other play that’s been going on!”

And it was. There are really three divergent plot threads that don’t come together until well into the second half of the show: Henry at court, Hal and Falstaff in Eastcheap, and the rebel camp led by Hotspur. My one scene as the sheriff in Eastcheap aside, I hadn’t seen any of Falstaff’s exploits, nor do I rebel until later on, so I had missed a lot of Hotspur’s early stuff, as well. And we have a pretty great play.

Don’t get me wrong. There is a lot of work to do. The stumble-through began at 5:40 and by the end of the day at 8 we hadn’t come close to finishing the play. People are still calling for lines and there are moments that need tweaking. But it’s clear that the framework has been built.

And any framework that includes multiple spit-takes is okay by me.



*Extra points to the first person who can tell me the relevance of the title of today’s post.


1 Response to ““Wisely and slow…”*”

  1. 1 moria
    April 11, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    Friar Laurence in ROMEO & JULIET: “Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.”

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