Tonight we focused on the spoken text. “Princess Ida” is written all in verse — in iambic pentameter in fact. And while the verse is challenging for some, it can prove quite informative as well.
We first paid close attention to the beats, robotically reading every line. And then we backed it up and broke it down. We let the rhythm guide us with its clues: like when to pause and when to speed it up; or how to treat an emphasized remark. Our work increased when scansion seemed to fail — when syllables were more or less than ten. The feminine ending most often proved the place that challenged us to use our heads. That extra syllable, it can be used in many sorts of unexpected ways, like….
Oh you’ll just have to find out for yourself, when you attend the show this coming March.
Some people think the verse is best ignored. Yet ignorance is not the road to bliss. We only scratched the surface here tonight. But everyone involved gained new insights — in terms of text, and character as well.
In all I think it was a great success. No matter where it leads, we will at least have given it a well-intentioned shot.