Rehearsal: Day 29
23rd September 2019
Scenes 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15 –– Venticelli groups
Back to Venticelli group scenes, ploughing through the final quarter of the play. Resilience is the key as we carry on, magic moments and flowing energy sacrificed to the need to get this done.
Having said that, the extra time we spend together now does create a newer impetus and understanding. We still don’t have every actor present for the section. But we do have very consistent actors who take good notes and remember them. And we get through the work without needing to stay late.
Scenes 13, 14 with Constanze, Mozart, Salieri
We’re making the first efforts to get through these scenes, trying to get the feel for them. It’s still early in the development of this work. So, I keep the actors off the stage in an effort to get the connection between them in the words.
Though I am still allowing the actors to know each other further and to know their characters intimately.
The Venticelli groups are also part of the fantastic Scene 14, a great relief from the emotional intensity either side of it. It starts with the group, joined by Katharina, Mozart and Salieri. The group have moments of utter hilarity –– up to the arrival of van Swieten.
On my personal ‘To Do’ list are three images in this section. The music from the Magic Flute is playing, Salieri describes the action and, rather than just freeze, the crowd group can enjoy the moment and be creative. See the note regarding the music support just below.
Sometimes, I have to be reminded to seek inspiration, rather than expecting my poor overworked brain to struggle to find it.
Here are two different versions of the musical cue for this Scene 14:
Wie Stark Ist Nicht Dein Zauberten.’
The latter one is so old-fashioned compared to the first, or the others on the net … Can’t resist it!.
If only …
In every amateur dramatic play ever done, there is a cry of If only we had one more week…! I’m thinking in terms of a month! In reflecting recently on how this part of the process is going, what I thought was that there has been no time for the learning to settle.
Each quarter of the play has taken a week to map out. After each quarter or even after each half, a few days of playing and teasing out would have been great –– copperfastening the intent and the body memory.
To support …
We have the DJ offering music as support, involved in the warm-up and playing a few music cues within the text.
It has made me realise how important it is to use the music now within the text work all the time now … to bring life to the words and an extra support for us in order to have the beauty of the music as a backdrop and to move us, emotionally, physically, and to propel us forwards.
Having the stage painted is very helpful, and having some of the set items –– chairs and benches –– painted and adding to the visual impact is lovely too.
And, majorly, where support is concerned, we have:
(a) the Stage Manager, Jack, who is at rehearsal every night for the last four weeks, becoming familiar with the play, helping with the set-up, humping and lumping the gear and the set. He is absolutely fantastic.
Now we are delighted to have an assistant for Jack. I was introduced to a visitor one day as I went from one meeting to another. Her name is Winnie. She is delightful and has come along, without knowing anybody and completely mucked in to line runs, warm-ups, washing up.
(b) Meanwhile, Julian too runs around collecting gear or clearing unnecessary stuff to the shed, sending messages of support or clarity, preparing a speech for opening night, providing chocolate digestives!
That support is immeasurable and invaluable.
Rehearsal: Day 30
25th September, 2019
Scenes 12, 14, 15 and 16
Tonight we had the Courtier group work, filling in the gaps that we had started on Monday with the Venticelli.
The warm-up tonight included some radiation and mirroring; keeping the connection, especially focusing on Constanze, building up the reservoir of skills for him to rely on in the relationship between the character and Mozart and separately with Salieri.
He is bouncing into the role without fear!
Again, the heavier scenes, Constanze / Salieri and Constanze / Mozart are kept off the stage. Until the time is right, I told them, we can’t be there.
To Do …
There are lots of small decisions to be made still, for example, a note I made tonight: ‘the secret Mason handshake’. In the prep notes, I have also written, ‘the response of the elder Salieri to the text’.
The ‘To Do’ list is getting important now, to ensure that all the small things we have to pass by in a rehearsal are addressed when there is a moment, or when we set time aside for it. The list is in my rehearsal book at the moment and jotted down in various places. It is time now for it to be transferred to a larger sheet, as reassurance for everyone to see; and allowing add-ons for anyone who needs to address something.
Scenes 17 and 18, the death of Mozart, we couldn’t do tonight. So, first thing on Sunday and back to the beginning then.
Checked also this week …
Costumes –– The sewers are still busy completing the clothing. Nothing rushed or stressed. Shoes have arrived and we had a trying on session … great!
Music –– A long session in the dark (the electricity was out in Schull!) with spreadsheets of music.
John, Julia and I began at the beginning, plotting and planning, listening to possibilities, listening to sections of gorgeous music. Again highlighting the point already made, that the entire group should be listening to the music for their enjoyment and inspiration.
Set –– Great strides this week with the set construction. The catwalk was built in three days and was in situe for the actors to use on the Wednesday rehearsal.
Mostly reconstructed from the materials in the SDG shed, it has transformed the hall and our work. It will take a little getting used to: the height off the floor, the difference in the distances between it and the stage.
Set painting –– There are long sessions by the two artists leading the decoration of the set, Deirdre and Corinna, and their team of two, Alyn and Isabelle, to paint and advance the colour on the set. It is a wonder and beautiful –– the combination of the wall decoration and the tile-effect on the catwalk in this little hall in the far end of the peninsula.
The aisle and walkways –– We are having to think carefully about the weather and the comfort of the audience. There is extra work hanging poles and sourcing curtains.
PR –– Posters are hung up from here to Skibbereen and Bantry. The PR blurb has been carefully worked on and sent out to the local and national newspapers, local newsletters, radio stations. Invitations have been issued to the local TDs and Councillors from the West Cork area. As recipients of an Arts Grant from Cork County Council, Art Department, we are asked to include and acknowledge the politicians in the area. I think at least two might attend!
Email to Amadeus Troupe: 28th September, 2019
Hi everyone in the Troupe, Designers and backstage,
we are meeting tomorrow, Sunday, to get through all of Act 2. We’ll start on the later Scenes 18 & 19 which everyone is in and return to the beginning then.
I know that I also have smaller scenes and vignettes to tighten up on … eg. the Theatre Scene – in the Weiden … I’m making a list and will get through them methodically.
From now on, we’re looking at the flow of the action (while never being rushed or in any way worried) and the icing on the cake!! If you have certain parts you’d like to go through, please let me know. It may be covered automatically in going back over things this coming week, but we’ll need to see what’s clunkiest and work on that first.
If there’s a spare moment, feel free to check out the set, get used to it. Anybody who’d like to use spare time to run lines with a friendly helper, just ask please.
You might also like to know that I have asked Jack and Winnie to see after most of the Scene changes so you don’t need to be concerned about that.
I’m calling the Salieris and Mozart only for 3pm and everyone else from 4pm. The wardrobe wizards will try clothes for fitting purposes and we’ll have a look at some against the set decoration.
I’m attaching the photo of the Annie Leibovitz image we’ll create at the end. If you can remember how you were in it we’ll try to recreate that. Please look carefully at the pose / emotion of the individual actors.
Looking forward to seeing you all.
Posters, PR and set have moved up a gear this week. Lighting is in shortly. Getting close!!