piecing together puzzling pieces.

Today we had our first run through of the entire play. It felt good. I also realized how much of the play I am actually in. For instance we are in Act II, then Act III is super short, and we enter again at the top of Act IV. And of course there is the fabulous and lengthy Act V, Scene 2. That scene is also really starting to come together. It’s like puzzle pieces are found, put in place, and then suddenly a whole new level of clarity to revealed. For instance, there is a place in the scene in which three of the four men start laying out some pretty harsh insults. It had been really harsh to the point at which I wondered why we ladies were even still there. Today they increased the sense of entertaining one another AND the speed–and suddenly the whole section made sense. It’s less about them being cruel and more about them being immature boys. That helped flow into the next fight section, which, once puzzled in will no doubt lead us to a great switch in action directly following. That seems vague, but I intend it to be for now.

I would also like to add a quick comment on understudying. This is my first understudy assignment. It’s quite fun, I think, and lines are coming along just fine and all that. But the disadvantage and advantage of the understudy set up in this particular play is that I am in all the scenes in which I am also understudying. The advantage is that I don’t need to attend extra rehearsal. The disadvantage is that I never get to just watch what Molly (Rhode – playing the Princess of France) is doing. This wasn’t too much of a problem at the beginning of the staging process as I had my script, could mark down things quickly as I watched Molly and take the time to watch her. Now things are moving together, and as I continue to find my own character’s form and place, I find myself spotting Molly in a new place and thinking, “Well how the heck did she get over there?” There aren’t too many of those places, but they do exist. I also don’t get the advantage of seeing her face at all times to really track what she is playing. And so, like the play itself, my understudying is coming together like a puzzle. I have the basic shape, but now and then I find a piece that isn’t quite fitting, and then I have to remind myself to watch next time so I can get the right piece in place.


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