Theatre

Remembering blocking over a year later…

In my last post, I talked about mounting a show that closed back in March of last year to COVID. On Sunday, we had our first in-person, masked, socially distanced, outdoor rehearsal for the production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It that we’re going to attempt to do at the end of the month (weather willing.)

After a few months of Zoom run throughs of the lines, it was time to see if our bodies remembered where we were supposed to go (which included several fight scenes-that I’m not in, mercifully.)

You would think, after a year away from a script, you’d forget what side of the stage you came in on, or what line you direct to what actor, but surprisingly, the only thing I didn’t recall was who I bowed after in the curtain call. HOW, brain? How did you retain THAT but you can’t remember basic math or remember how to spell easy words like miracle (that took three tries with spellcheck not having a clue what word I was spelling two of those times)?

Naturally, some things had to change due to the show now being outside and certain set pieces we had in the theatre practically can’t be moved outside, but all in all, after being away from it for so long the cast was pretty great at remembering where they went.

We may have lost our revolving stage but we got a swing instead, so win?

One of my scenes got moved to the opposite side of the stage, forcing me to mirror my actions. Such a simple thing, and yet the brain hiccupped. It’s like it knew there was a glitch in the matrix. The muscle memory was trying to correct me into doing the original blocking. I guess there is a reason we rehearse so much.

With their theater season picking up and other shows needing time to get their rehearsals, our own rehearsals are limited. In fact, we’ll have a grand total of THREE rehearsals at the site to figure out lights (yup, outdoor lighting will happen), sound (yep, that too) costumes (the grass stains in this show will be FIERCE I tell you) and hair. (I predict I’ll get a different hairdo this time around as this look took two hours to create.)

It may not look like it, but there are about 50 bobby pins in my head.

Next Sunday, we’ll figure out the lighting and costumes to be ready for a full dress (with makeup) on the Tuesday before we open, then it’s four nights of shows (weather-willing.) After that, who knows what is in store? I’ve not auditioned for anything as of yet, knowing this show, and it’s ever shifting performance was the main focus. I’ll be helping this theatre out with makeup with their production of Little Women because my son is in it and I’ll have to drop him off at the theater anyway. Might as well lend a hand.

After a year of saying no to things, it’s strange to be saying yes again.

If you’re local, and hoping to catch the show, they are booking them online only and due to seating restrictions, they can only sell 50 seats a night, so grab them now if you want them. https://belfastmaskers.com/events/

Danielle Bannister, author and wearer of all the bobby pins

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