We just finished our second week of rehearsal for our production of Coriolanus. We’ve put so much time, effort, sweat and fake blood into this play, which makes it seem like we’ve been rehearsing for much longer than two weeks!
I could go on for hours explaining all we cover in just one rehearsal. This week we focused on every aspect of the production. We finished roughing through all of the blocking for both acts. To be expected, as the week went on numerous changes were made. After blocking the play, we did a couple walk-throughs of what we had established. This allowed us to get a better sense of the flow of the play, and to make changes where they were needed. We also spent time this week working through the scenes individually, polishing the acting and really getting into the core of what was happening in each scene. Our director, Mark Cabus, describes the process as “building up the play, tearing it all down, and then building it up again.” It was beautiful the way bits and pieces of a script started to morph into a work of art.
As the play started to come together, technical aspects of the production also began to take shape. It was amazing to watch all of the lights being put into their places. Seeing the cords, tape, and fresh paint brought a smile to my face. We are less than a week from opening night! I don’t think the words exist to explain the feeling; perhaps an insane mix between exhaustion and euphoria is the best way to describe it. For obvious reasons, I was dreading our 12 hour Saturday rehearsal. Spending all day in the park heat, sweating, and working all day didn’t seem nearly as appealing as sleeping. I was shocked at how quickly the time passed and how much fun I had. When we first arrived we were fitted for costumes, something everyone has been waiting for. The costumes are so awesome! We did scene work, a read-through, and then we began a technical run-through of the play. During the run-through we stumbled upon some problems but in my opinion, it went wonderfully. I feel that it was one of the most successful rehearsals yet. I left that night in awe and with an incredible amount of excitement. I know that quite a few members of the cast share my eagerness for an audience. We’re all so excited to show everyone what we’ve been passionately working on for weeks. When the Apprentice Company first joined the primary cast, we had already spent two weeks training together. In no way was Apprentice Company training a boot camp of any sorts. We had built relationships and developed countless inside jokes, all while learning an inconceivable amount. I felt I could spend the rest of my life working on Shakespeare’s text, doing movement exercises, and of course eating delicious meals provided by Whole Foods. I will admit that I was a little apprehensive about joining the primary cast and actually working on the play. I thought that maybe professional actors would somehow ruin atmosphere that we, the Apprentice Company, had developed. As these last two weeks flew by I have to say that I couldn’t have been more wrong. The adults have added a wonderful element of experience that has been such a joy to learn from and to watch. It’s such a rush to have the opportunity to hear their thoughts on how to approach certain aspects of their character or of a scene. It’s phenomenal.
I feel so incredibly grateful to be experiencing this. So, thank you to everyone involved in our Apprentice Company training and everyone involved in this production. This is a summer that I will never forget. I can’t wait for the next opportunity to expand and grow from all that I’ve learned. I can’t believe this is only the half way mark.
By Miranda Fisher, Nashville School of the Arts