Friday, August 28, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
"The difference between school and life? In school, you're
taught a lesson and then given a test.
In life, you're given a test that teaches
you a lesson."
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
From what I have learned from doing theatre so far, is that no show is ever the same. The cast is always learning or, adapting to their environment and basically just growing. It does not matter how many times you have rehearsed a show, what ever it is, it will always change with an audience. Our opening night was fantastic because of our amazingly energetic audience. Every actor on stage feeds off of the audience's energy just as much if not more than our audience feeds off of the actors.
The second night was a good lesson in teaching us that we can still make mistakes and wrong choices, but as human beings, who happen to be actors, we learn from them. We pulled through with good energy even though we had a few technical difficulties. Saturday night we had explosive energy thanks again to our magnificent audience. We gave them all we had and they just ate it up. It is shows like these and moments that I notice that will never happen again on stage, that cause me to love and crave to pursue theatre as a career. I love every second/aspect of the theatre world and cannot see myself doing anything else. - Diego Gomez
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
pictured: Paige Gober, Diego Gomez, Miranda Fisher
I’m continually amazed by the strength and creative expression that theatre allows. The cast of Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s Shakespeare in the Park 2009 production of Taming of the Shrew is comprised of a generous assortment of differing individuals. The youngest being a fourteen year old student and the oldest being a well experienced teacher, it has been a highly advantageous learning experience in each element of the spectrum. I’m learning so much from everyone. It simultaneously reminds me of how inexperienced I am and how much I’ve already learned in such a short amount of time. Last summer, my first time being in the Apprentice Company, was my first real exposure to Shakespeare. I remember at the beginning of my sophomore year being embarrassed that I was unable to name five Shakespearean plays. I was terrified of Shakespeare! But now, only two years later, I’m thrilled to tear apart and analyze any of his text.
The first day of Apprentice Company training I was filled with heaps of nervous energy and apprehension. I’m not some fanatic believer in Murphy’s Law, but the first day of training a couple major things went wrong. One of our workshops fell through because the instructor's wife had a baby that morning! But like a Shakespearean superhero, Nashville Shakes Artistic Director, Denice Hicks made an impromptu text based workshop. I’m constantly reminded of the fortune theatre provides even in the midst of unfortunate happenings.
Nashville Shakes has lost numerous sponsors and support due to this distasteful economy. We’re fighting against the odds, but it’s all good. My experience this summer has been filled little potholes of the like but it seems that, with a little flexibility, anything can be mended.
To say the least, our training went exceptionally well. After we all were acquainted with one another, we chose monologues to rehearse, and began a series of Viewpoint exercises. Anne Bogart’s Viewpoint exercises have been the foundation for our character development, and the creation of our ensemble. Thanks to Viewpoints Brenda Sparks, our director, has been able to effectively communicate broad ideas. We’ve mainly focused on ideas of shape, spatial relationship, tempo, architecture and topography. Viewpoints is an essential part of our creative process.
We just completed our second day of blocking rehearsal and have made it through the entire first act. (With only two weeks of rehearsal , we’re making great time!) Over the next two weeks we’ll be finishing the blocking, exploring specific character interactions and layering in the technical aspects of the show. We’ve already got some groovy costumes, thanks to June Kingsbury. I cannot wait to make it to opening night. Everything is coming together so quickly.
Dude, ApCo has been such an essential part of my growth as an actor and human being. It’s offered such and opportune learning experience. Donations, please! Keep this program around! Young people need this exposure to Shakespeare and the arts.
Miranda Fisher, ApCo 2008, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Alright then, the training. This year, for myself and at least last year's apprentices, is a mix of review and wholly, completely different training. Er, let me explain. This year marks a return to Viewpoints work. The monologues work we've started on is also a similar but wonderful system of presentation, Q and A, and constructive feedback. However, the aspects of this year's training pertaining specifically to our Groovy Shrew is quite different from what we did to bring Rome to Nashville last year.
Needless to say, this year's Shakespeare in the Park may find a marked decrease in the amount of gratuitous blood and staff-on-club combat :). Amongst watching an Episode of Laugh-In that had us all in stitches(It's Sock it to Me Time!*punch*) and a trip back through Time magazines, we got in a fantastic stage combat lesson with David Wilkerson, with more of a focus on comedy than raw violence. Thursday, we were all treated to a groove-tastic dance lesson with the especially groovy Rowena Aldridge. Just another perk of Apprentice Company!
I mean, honestly, where else are you going to see pieces from HAMLET and KING LEAR one day, and immediately the next day learn everything from The Madison to the Monster Mash?
In summary, J.R. Knowles is alive and thoroughly enjoying every moment of the 2009 Apprentice Company. Stay groovy!
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
This year, ApCo students will join with the professionals in a Shakespeare in the Park production of a 1970s Laugh-In inspired THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, directed by Brenda Sparks.
John Ryan Knowles