High-Tech Staging

I’ve tried a rather unorthodox new experiment. I have typed out the blocking notes for seven heretofore un-blocked scenes and emailed them to the cast. Of course, we will work these scenes in rehearsal and make adjustments/changes as necessary. But I’m hoping this action will make those rehearsals — and the overall process — much more expedient. The old fashioned way is for me to scribble blocking notes in my script and then spend the first part of each rehearsal translating those scribbles to the cast; and then waiting for them to make their own scribbles in their own scripts. The upside of this routine is that problems can be identified and questions can be asked during the scribbling. The downsides are that 1) this takes up valuable time, 2) everyone is not always at every rehearsal, so the scribble routine must be repeated when the missing actors return, and 3) no two sets of scribbles are ever the same, so disagreements and misreadings of notes can occur down the line and cause confusion. Of course, this does require that I be as clear and specific as possible in my typed notes… But, right or wrong, everyone now has one clear and indisputable version of the director’s blocking notes. I’ll be anxious to see how this experiment works. In other news….. Last night we worked and refined the Act I Finale, and then we staged the Act II Finale. Also, on Thursday evening Evelyn worked the Katisha/Ko-Ko section, "Alone and Yet Alive" through "Beauty in the Bellow of the Blast." So, with the achievements of the last two rehearsals (and assuming the success of those emailed blocking notes), the entire show has now been blocked and choreographed. We now have to focus in the coming weeks on drilling, perfecting, and solidifying all this material.
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