A Musical Day for Henry.

Music abounds in rehearsals for both parts of 3H6 today – and I don’t just mean drums for the war marches or accordions for sound cues (but we’ve definitely got those, too). Both Dan’s cast and Andrew’s cast are working on adding songs into their shows. Today I got to watch Andrew’s cast start work on one, and Dan’s cast continue work on another. The campers are showcasing a lot of musical ability! We’ve got singing, percussion, guitars, ukuleles, and don’t forget that accordion. Both songs are incredibly thematically relevant to each part of 3H6, really speaking to the action and characters in each show, so I’ll keep the titles a surprise until show day.

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Dan’s cast working on music.

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Staging the song with Dan’s cast.

 

I also got to do some text work with members of Andrew’s cast, which was a lot of fun after my rhetoric workshops last week. I love rhetoric, and it cheers my heart to see campers’ scripts covered with notes about the rhetorical figures their characters are using. You’d be surprised how many types of parenthesis and pleonasm a usually straightforward character like Warwick can use!

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Scene work with Lady Grey and Hastings in Dan’s cast.

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Text work with the Father who has killed his Son in Andrew’s cast (personal note: it’s heart wrenching).

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AD Emily works with Margaret and King Henry in Andrew’s cast.

Of course, it’s not all music and rhetoric in 3H6 - no rehearsal would be complete without a hefty dose of stabbing. I got to see some of that in Dan’s cast this morning.

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Stab stab!

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Hanging out with swords in between stabbings.

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Musical break for Andrew’s cast.

As you can see, rehearsals are a blast. More music, rhetoric, and (of course) stabbings to come!

-Lia Razak, ASC Education Artist and ASCTC Dramaturg for Henry VI, Part 3

An “Italian” Run for a “French” Play

An “Italian” Run for a “French” Play

Today was Judgment Day for the All’s Well cast – or, in less melodramatic terms, Off Book Day – when the campers should have their lines totally memorized. The sooner campers are off book and not holding their scripts on stage, the sooner the real fun can begin in the rehearsal room. To test actors’ line memorization, we do what’s called an Italian Run: a speed through of the entire play (lines only, not movement). Meanwhile, the assistant directors (aka counselors Adrienne and John) take line notes to give to the actors so they know which bits to practice more. An Italian Run also helps the actors memorize their cues (often the toughest lines to remember, because they belong to someone else). Until the end of the week, campers are still allowed to call “Prithee” for a line, but they will no longer be able to carry their scripts on stage during rehearsal.

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After an hour-long Italian Run, blocking resumed with parts of Acts 2 and 4.

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All is well ;)

Aubrey
Dramaturg, All’s Well That Ends Well

Another Day of Rehearsal

It has been an amazing weekend here at ASCTC. Saturday night was our Masquerade dance, and campers got dressed up for the occasion. The ladies wore lovely gowns, and some of the gents wore very formal ties. We all walked over to Deming Theatre and danced for about two hours!

Today we went back to our normal schedule. I got to watch the first half of 3 Henry 6 Part B in Hunt West and snapped a couple of pictures. I love the music choices they have made for their performance and I can’t wait for you to see it too. I got to eavesdrop on director Dan’s conversation with Henry and Richard (Ellis and Maren)as they worked on Henry’s death scene. Dan has the campers discuss and explain every line they say, so that everyone knows what is going on in the scene. It was cool to see them play with the rope as well.

Until Next Time,

Molly, Camp Intern

Practicing Music for the finale

Practicing Music for the finale

Maren is learning a new instrument just for the show!

Maren is learning a new instrument just for the show!

Some of the girls dressed up for the Masquerade!

Some of the girls dressed up for the Masquerade!

Some of the dancing!

Some of the dancing!

Dan works with Ellis and Maren to discuss Henry's Death scene

Dan works with Ellis and Maren to discuss Henry’s Death scene

Chris and Cornelia working on flourishes (entrances for royalty)

Chris and Cornelia working on flourishes (entrances for royalty)

Rest of the cast ran lines with Emily.

Rest of the cast ran lines with Emily.

Education Is Everywhere

I mentioned earlier that  campers are taking classes that I took my first year in graduate school; it is true, and they take these classes in a condensed time frame. This week alone, campers have been taking classes in rhetoric, cue scripts, and early modern dancing. Kim taught the campers three different early modern dances, such as the Woodicock and the Parson’s Fare Well. We learn about Shakespeare’s education and how it affected his writing in rhetoric. Every educated person in early modern England (a high percentage in London, with a fairly high literacy rate in this period) would have known about rhetoric and would have noticed it in Shakespeare’s works. Rhetoric makes writing more compelling and more interesting to listeners. Campers learn to harness the power of rhetoric to make their words more compelling when they perform.

On Saturday, our dramaturgs presented their information on the plays. This is a chance for the campers to dive deeper into the history of their plays and to understand why these plays are important. Lia presented the family tree of the Lancasters and Yorks. The campers got to take on different roles to show the relationships and how the characters would pass down the crown in successive generations. Aubrey talked about the history of All’s Well itself; the play first appears in the 1623 Folio. As such, we do not have an exact date of when Shakespeare wrote All’s Well, but Aubrey explained how scholars have dated it to around 1606. Aubrey also went into detail about the plot, which is often confusing to some audiences. Why is it a problem that Helena wants Bertram and she goes after him? The solution is different whether you are an early modern audience member or a 21st century audience member.

Until Next Time,

Molly

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Aubrey leads the campers is setting up the Alps to explain the play.

Aubrey leads the campers is setting up the Alps to explain the play.

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Lia gives a lecture on Rhetoric

Lia gives a lecture on Rhetoric

Sarah instructs the campers on how to use cue scripts

Sarah instructs the campers on how to use cue scripts

Kim shows campers how to do the Parson's Farewell.

Kim shows campers how to do the Parson’s Farewell.

Diving into Henry VI, Part 3.

I think we should change the name of Henry VI, Part 3 to something that better portrays the play’s epicness. As the dramaturg for this production, it’s been so exciting to watch the campers dive into rehearsing their dynamic performances, and I’ve been lucky enough to witness their growing excitement for this oft-passed-over play. Relationships are being discovered, history learned, alliances forged… it seems the Wars of the Roses are truly coming to a boiling point in Staunton!

This week, I got to sit in on rehearsals for both parts of 3H6. Directors Andrew Blasenak and Daniel Hasse are working hard with their casts to get the bones of these shows up and moving. Dan’s cast has been doing a lot of work to prepare the myriad sword fights in Part B of 3H6.

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Scene work in Dan’s cast.

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Theatre needs music! Campers work on sound cues.

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Did I mention there are lots of sword fights in 3H6?

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Sword fighting with Dan’s cast.

 

Andrew’s cast has been working intensely on scene work, and understanding the complicated familial relationships between all the characters in Part A of 3H6.

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Working on Henry VI’s monologue.

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Scene work amongst the ambitious Yorkists.

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Blocking out York’s death.

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Flocking warmup with Andrew’s cast.

It’s been an exciting first week. As the dramaturg, I’m very much looking forward to teaching the campers about the history of the Wars of the Roses on Saturday – exploring these family relationships has helped give the story of the war-centric Henry VI, Part 3 a more personal feel. More rehearsal updates to follow!

- Lia Razak, ASC Education Artist and ASCTC Dramaturg for Henry VI, Part 3

All’s Well in All’s Well

Today I got to sit in the first half of All’s Well That Ends Well rehearsal, and it was a lot of fun. I’ve attached pictures of the campers using bouncy balls, and they weren’t playing dodge ball. Lee has the campers practice punctuation as well as thought shifts throughout their lines by having them toss the balls to their partners. The physical act of throwing something helps actors accent those shifts in thought and punctuation at the end of lines. Lee made the activity more challenging by having scenes happen simultaneously, which makes our actors concentrate on their cue lines, on projecting their words across the circle and still remaining aware of their surroundings.

Once the warm up was done, they split off into groups to block Act 5 and practice the music for their play. They have picked the most awesome song that I will keep a secret until the big day! Tonight we are going to go see Cyrano at the Blackfriars, and hopefully I will get some pictures of the campers dressed in all their finery. Enjoy the pictures.

Until Next Time,

Molly, Camp Intern

Alex and Catherine strike a pose.

Alex and Catherine strike a pose.

The circle is about to commence!

The circle is about to commence

Practicing scenes and punctuation!

Practicing scenes and punctuation

Dan and Sophie practice chords for their song.

Dan and Sophie practice chords for their song.

Lee explains the blocking of the final act!

Lee explains the blocking of the final act