The Avalon Theatre is a busy place. On Sunday afternoon there was a Mozart concert performed by Easton’s Choral Arts Society on stage, and the Cinema Society met Sunday night and needed the main stage AND the Stoltz Listening Room at 4:30. In fact, the stage won’t be available for rehearsals all this week and weekend as a Waterfowl Festival event is being setting up in the auditorium. Hopefully all will be back to normal next week.
So on Sunday rehearsals were limited to adults in Stoltz from 2 – 4:30. One of our characters sings with the Choral Arts Society so she couldn’t be there. Rehearsals are a huge commitment of time and accommodations to people’s schedules are constantly made.
The acting instructions continue to be fascinating. Assistant Director Cecile Davis brought some of the character books she had created for productions in which she has appeared. The books had pictures of what she thought her character looked like, the backstory she imagined for her character, comments and direction from the director, and magazine photos and research from the time period of the play. She encouraged the Santa Diaries actors to create their own character books.
Cece recommended two books to the actors. The Enneagram Made Easy by Renee Baron and Elizabeth Wagele, and Trusting the Actor by Brian Astbury.
In a previous blog we mentioned the directors putting the actors through an “anger run”. It seems there are all kinds of acting “runs.” Cece did a “spoken thoughts” run with Casey Rauch (Will) in which she followed closely behind him speaking the kind of thoughts that might be going through his character’s mind. It must have been hugely distracting, but Casey stayed focused got through his long speech without a hitch. Then she did an excercise with Jenny Madino (Jessica) in which she had her do a scene using a variety of emotions (anger, sadness, happy, childlike), louder and softer, faster and faster. We could all feel the energy this created. Note to Jenny from the authors: it’s The Night Before Christmas, not The Nightmare Before Christmas. LOL.
At one point Cece referred to The Santa Diaries as “our play”. Laura and I got goosebumps. The more ownership everyone feels the better the show will be. The Santa Diaries is OUR community play.
p.s. On Sunday Laura and I left rehearsal early because we were going to Baltimore for theater. At Tuesday night’s rehearsal we learned that Cece had two of the leads doing a scene while doing push-ups. So sorry we missed that!