Rehearsal: Days 18 & 19
Day 18: Venticelli 1 & 2
28th August, 2019
It is very nice at times to get the opportunity to meet smaller groups of people; the atmosphere is more relaxed and you can focus on those people and their questions directly, rather than having to be mindful that there is a larger group waiting around.
The Venticelli are very much part of their groups but need a definite relationship with each one another and with the other actors with whom they have dialogue.
Within the play, ‘Amadeus’, they are probably the most playful characters and both of these actors are making the most of the gossipy, high-status roles.
We didn’t have a big warm-up, though before each scene, I asked the actors to go through their lines away from the acting area: to allow them to focus on the words first and then a sense of their physicality with the words –– before they have to place them in the set.
We worked on Scenes 3, 8 & 9, finding places for the Venticelli to relate to Salieri from the street, in his apartment and in a library.
The groups associated with both characters will accompany the Venticelli most of the time, and sometimes become intimately involved in the scene. That process of combining the Troupe with the action takes a good bit of thinking through.
Day 19: Emperor Joseph, Younger Salieri, Count Orsini Rosenberg, Van Swieten, Constanze
1st September, 2019
We did a quick warm-up with the actors using the Actors’ Choices playlist: The Amadeus Project: Playlist. I like the idea that this too is another layer that we subconsciously add as we work on together.
Again, the warm-up focus was on reminding the actors of the work done in the early part of the year and asking them to remember status / power/ gender / elastic band / magnet concepts in relation to each other. We should see these concepts in the actors’ interactions (and allegiances), in their understanding of their interconnections, in relation to the set.
This will develop and expand from now on. It’s exciting to explore the potential to be physical and understated in the acting, and to explore the words of the text.
We looked at Scenes 4 and 7, establishing the positions of the characters on the stage, how they come to those decisions, the flow between them.
A question has arisen in the last few days about the props and how they feed into the design.
How contemporary will we go with those items? How indicative are they of the personalities involved?
We don’t have an answer yet … on the ‘to do’ list.
Constanze arrived later and we worked through her part in Scene 8, her first meeting with Emperor Joseph.
A little later on we worked on Scenes 10 and 11, between Constanze and Salieri. These scenes feel solid, familiar, as we have looked at them before –– the lines are almost there and the thread of understanding clear.
The actors are working hard here and on their own and are determined in their rehearsal ethic.
There are no photographs of the rehearsals, all energy is now taken up with getting as much of the practical application of the text onto the stage.
Only occasionally do we have a moment to bring the group together at the beginning and the end of the rehearsals. That tends to happen when the group is large. Lots of little sections at the moment.