Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
Sam Spanjian, Savannah Frazier, Steven Berryessa
Photo by http://www.jefffrazier.com/

Friday, July 27, 2007

Post Two
By Christy Whit

I cannot believe it’s already time to start rehearsals for The Two Gentleman of Verona tomorrow. This is the third time I have been a member of the Apprentice Company, and I am always so surprised at how fast it goes by.

Today we perform the monologues that we have been working on for our friends, families, and fellow actors. Herb Parker, a professional actor and member of The Merry Wives of Windsor cast, came in yesterday to work with us on our monologues. He was such a help. Everything he said applied to me in some way. He helped me to see my monologue in a completely new way. I am always surprised at how many different ways Shakespeare can be translated…there are so many options!

Today we also started working with noise makers for The Two Gentlemen of Verona. It was so much fun! We gave our sun salutes, which are the yoga exercises we do every morning, sound effects. It was interesting that even though we were making such funny sounds, our sun salutes kept their integrity and their seriousness. We came to the conclusion that if we had tried to make our sun salutes funny by acting funny instead of doing them the way we always do, it would have taken away from the simplicity of the sounds.

Simplicity is something we have been talking about throughout the training process. We talk about it in relation to monologues, but also in relation to clowns. We have discovered that just one simple and clear clown action is much more funny than something sloppy. For example, if I were to wave at someone as myself then I would wave by moving my hand back and forth repetitively. This isn’t funny. If I were waving as a clown it would be one simple movement. It is amazing how much better things look when they are simple and clear.

I am excited about monologues today. I’m not particularly nervous right now, although I’m sure I will be when it comes time to perform. That’s how it always is for me. I’m fine right up until it is time to walk on stage. Oh, well. I hope my dad can come.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Apprentice Company will be performing The Two Gentlemen of Verona at Shakespeare in the Park 2007 with a clown theme. In order to prepare for their roles, Apprentice Company students have been working with a professional actor, specializing in clown techniques. Read on for a first hand account from one of the students...

Post One
By Brad Burns

When I found out that I was going to be training to find my "inner clown,” I was worried that I might focus too much on pleasing the audience and getting a laugh. But, I realized clowning is actually unflinching, serious acting. I loved how we ran with it.

In just our first week we have already done text work, and some of us have taken our first steps in learning how to juggle! That doesn't sound like much, but it's quite an achievement for a young actor. On top of that, we learned different pratfalls and clothesline swings. One day all we did is practice falling…over and over and over. It was fantastic!

The adult actors from The Merry Wives of Windsor cast are great people to watch. They really make Shakespeare’s play come to life. I love being with the Apprentice Company and the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, and I cannot wait to perform at Shakespeare in the Park with them.