Friday, May 12, 2017

Love Games: Realism vs. Presentational

Love Games has been absolutely sailing along with 8 rehearsals under our belt and our first full run through coming up tomorrow. We still have a long way to go though and now that the show is completely blocked I'm ready to begin pushing technique.

I need more volume from everyone and clearer consonants. I sit in the front row and can only understand them because I know the script. We are riding a fine and changing line between presentationalism and realism in acting. I fear I might be confusing some of them with my blocking notes. We need to be big to stick with the melodramatic comedy of the piece, but this is not Comedia. Poses, movement, and stance should follow a logical pattern. This space allows for realism to come across fairly effectively, but we still need to think about sight lines. I think that the space is interesting in regards to sound as well. The actors and front 2 rows are out in the open room with a ceiling stretching past sight (I only realized how tall the room actually is this last winter when I was in the catwalks for the first time). So sound bounces around and carries freely. But the remaining rows are under the booth with a much smaller proportion of open air. I feel that sound gets cut off in that transition from stage to back row.

I also find myself using only the stage right and middle side of the stage. I have to keep it decently empty so that they have room to move around in the jewelry scene, but I'm worried about it becoming right-heavy. Our biggest staging concern other than that is how tiny the bed actually is considering that we have multiple actors on it at a time and they have complex blocking to do on it. My biggest concern is someone falling and hitting their head. The script calls for a lot of straddling and rolling around which if we had a fluffy mattress would be no problem. But we don't. We have 4 very solid wooden blocks with a blanket on top of it. They want to take this blocking faster but I'm making them take it slow until the flow and blocking is solid in their heads. Because if, for example, the actors are thinking about what line comes next when Pablo pushes Dahnrae off of him and not preparing physically to move, Nikki might fall and really hurt herself. I just need them to trust me. I know what I'm doing.

They are all prompt and attentive in rehearsal and it is clear that everyone cares about this production. The four of them met without Heaven or I outside of rehearsal for a coffee "date" and line study. I find it charming that they wanted to simulate the dating experience and relationship building they are going to portray on stage. They are quickly growing more comfortable with one another. Unless someone's sick, I'm going to introduce kissing at tomorrows rehearsal.

Also, I've taken to sitting on a table at the foot of the stage and often standing very close to them. I've never been for for "normality".

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