This evening we had our first formal reading of our new Mission Statement (see previous post). Everyone participated, with each man reading a section. At the end, I saw nods and heard hums of approval. During the course of the evening, I witnessed a few small but telling signs that people had these values on their mind. Carl (for one) came “out of his shell” a bit more and offered feedback to his fellow actors.
We blocked 1.1., beginning the play with a dumbshow, accompanied by music: the main title from Black Robe, composed by Georges Delerue. The opening lines of the play, originally a conversation between two gentlemen, are now woven together into one speech, delivered by Christopher, acting as an anonymous narrator.
I am working with Mike (Posthumus) to get a more masculine, genuine-sounding voice (he began with that fluttery affection that actors sometimes slip into with Shakespeare), and with Patrick (Imogen) to get a freer, more expressive use of the arms (he had been clasping his hands in front of his chest, and keeping them there).
The entire cast will benefit from some more work with movement, especially with the arms and hands.