This week’s session involved both the writers and actors again, as we move closer to getting the texts from page to stage.
We started by working with Rob Tunrock’s Ravens. It was initially quite a daunting task getting up and performing something without any idea how we wanted it to look. I think this was also due to the fact that due to time restraints, we didn’t have a chance to warm up or talk prior to reading the scripts through. Its always difficult trying to act with a script in your hand, so the acting wasn’t necessarily the best it could have been, however it gave those who were spectators to the action an eye for what might look good when it comes to staging it properly.
I’m glad that we had the writers at the session, as it was helpful to understand what they wanted from certain scenes, and how we could convey those intentions. For Ravens we focused on the relationship between the two female characters, trying to gauge an understanding of how they would say certain lines. As I was playing the character that was the recipient of the majority of the conversation between the characters, I was able to convey how I felt in the situation and whether or not those feelings reflected those that the writer intended the character to feel.
We next looked at Snap. The stage directions were initially quite clear in this text with five individuals sat around a table in a factory canteen. Things became slightly more difficult however when we realised that characters had certain physical interactions with one another. These interactions, for example knocking someone’s bag off the table, meant that we had to play a bit of musical chairs to make the staging fit the text. The other thing that we struggled with was the pace of this text, this was partly due to the fact that we were holding scripts again, but also the lines seemed to flow quite quickly and it seemed as though we were rushing through them, so I am looking forward to further sessions to work on these issues.
Ours/Yours, I think, was one of the easiest texts to get on its feet. I think the main reason for this was the fact that the stage directions were both clear and simple. I also think the pace was quite easy to get to grips with, due to the intended naturalism of the text. Despite the initial staging being seemingly simple, we did find that we became quite static on the stage. Because of this, going forward I think we need to work on characters intentions on each line and also intentions behind any movements.
The last play we looked at was Real Person Fiction we didn’t have a huge amount of time to look at this play in this particular session, so had to skip through a few bits of the text. Much like Ours/Yours, as actors we did find that we were quite static on stage, and although told to move when it felt right, we still found it a bit forced to move around the stage. Again I think over the coming rehearsals the focus will be to establish the intentions behind movements and make sure that the action is interesting to watch. Overall it was a really constructive session and has allowed the actors to familiarise themselves the texts more and I cant speak for everyone but I believe we are all really looking forward to working on the texts more.
John Tissiman, performer, Emerging Perspectives Company 2014
Behind Closed Doors will play 5 East Midlands venues from 1 – 5 July; Manton Village Hall, Rutland on Tuesday 1 July, Guildhall Theatre, Derby on Wednesday 2 July, Create Theatre Mansfield on Thursday 3 July, Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham on Friday 4 July and Thurgarton Village Hall on Saturday 5 July. For further details about the show and booking information visit our website.