Tuesday, August 30, 2011

(Day 2) Characters galore

This afternoon was our first time in the Arena. The first thing we did once we moved the keyboard into the space was to go over some of the group numbers in the space, just so that we could get a feel for the size of the stage and the acoustics.

Nadav and Katie (the set designer/technical director) discuss the changes to the set, while the cast looks on.

After the music review, Nadav had the actors doing character work, which mostly involved them walking about on the stage as their characters while he changed their situation. At one point he told them they had just won the lottery. Then they only had three minutes to collect the reward. But wait! Everyone was watching them running! "You don't have to CARE if people are staring," Nadav told them when everyone immediately altered their pace. "I just wanted you to know that they were."

In my opinion, Warren is the most adorable character and at every line I just want to give him a hug. Poor guy, he has no friends. Other people disagree with me. Josh says "I'm sure he would say he has lots of friends. Like... the doorman. Or that pigeon there."

At around 4:40, Jenna and Matt left with Kate to go over some more music, while Nadav worked with Josh and Rachel R.

The first exercise that Nadav asked Josh and Rachel R to do involved discussing their characters' impressions/preconceived notions of each other, before having met. When this discussion was over, the two re-rehearsed the scene of their first meeting.

Josh (speaking as Warren) said that Deb is probably, "kind of like if Hilary Clinton were in her mid-twenties. And fun."

On the topic of the museum in which the two meet:
Josh: "You can just look at this art, and it's beautiful and simple and what I want our friendship to be."
Rachel R: "Stupid."

Nadav (far left) directs Rachel R and Josh through the scene where they first meet.

The next exercise the two did was more in-character work. Rachel R complained to Josh about anything that bothered her character throughout the whole show, and when she ran out of complaints from the book she added some from her own life. Josh's job was to respond by putting a positive spin on the whole thing. Here are some of the better exchanges:

"At Starbucks they gave me too much coffee in my cup, so I couldn't mix in my nutmeg."
"Hey, free coffee!"

"That life coach just kept telling me to breathe. Breathing doesn't help!"
"Well if you don't breathe, you die, so yeah, it kind of does help."

"I had to drive TEN HOURS to get here!"
"At least you have legs!"

Now, at 6pm, the actors have switched. Josh and Rachel R are reviewing music while Nadav works on a scene with Matt and Jenna. With two hours still left in the rehearsal, it's hard to believe that it is still our first full day!

And I will now leave you with one great line from Nadav to Jenna: "This is where you are doing a very female thing. You are telling the audience relevant information, before he even starts to explain, so that when you get five lines along they know why you're right. You are preempting his argument, LIKE A NINJA WOMAN!"

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