In today’s session we worked through the newest draft of the script that I had worked on and edited over the Christmas Holidays and put it into practice to try and pin point what worked and moments that may need further fine tuning. I explained that the main changes to the script were around the fact that the ESC begins the transformation of the 2D shapes into the 3D ones earlier in the narrative as it gives us a better opportunity to teach and demonstrate the properties of the 3D shapes earlier and therefore more thoroughly to the children. As well as this I condensed and joined together some scenes, and also wrote a coda at the end of the script where the ESC becomes a florist and comes for tea at Granny’s house – which acts as the resolution for the piece.
As we had already blocked most of the play last half term with the original script we luckily knew what we were doing and were able to run through what we had done using the newer version of the script, and just stop every now and again to discuss specific details at certain moments (such as where we enter from or to rework sections that we didn’t feel quite worked. I personally find this way of rehearsing really beneficial as I don’t see the point of continuing to run a scene if it goes wrong or isn’t right as all that does is reinforce the wrong way into your head even more, so if we were to run it again later it would be more than likely that you would revert back to the old way! However, I think some people feel that if you don’t complete a full run through or the task set at the beginning of the session then it doesn’t count as a productive rehearsal – but I personally don’t feel that is the case at all! Rehearsing in this way helps highlight things that need re-tweaking or trying in another way, and without doing it we would never improve or get a solid finished product that works. Another thing I think really benefited our session today was the fact that the rest of the ESC cast sat with Erica out front and watched the scene and took notes on things we thought worked well and also notes for improvement to give each other at the end. However, I did worry that people thought I was taking charge or being too bossy when I gave my notes to them, but understandably as the story of The Case of The Evil Shape Collector and The Missing Triangle is my creation I feel a personal bit of ownership over it and the image I had in my head when writing it, so naturally want to give pointers and ideas when possible!
I have collected some of the notes made by Erica/cast/myself and have added suggestions and improvements:
- We need to work on the entrance of SK and ESC through the window to make it more comical and slick – we will need to wait for the set until we practice the logistics of how Morgan can fall into the window in a comedic manner but for the time being we should just focus on the characterisation of being as clumsy as possible.
- We need to place the bed further stage right and slightly angled to give more space for when SK and ESC enter though the window and steal the triangle as at the moment it’s all very cramped and makes it difficult to see what is happening. The schools we perform in should have wider stages/performance spaces so hopefully we won’t run the risk of being cramped together especially in the first scene. However we should make this change just in case.
- We could think about using a sound effect just before grandma says rise and shine so we clarify it’s morning and time has gone by. Something generic and easy such as a bird tweeting or a cockerel call, which the children will recognise as a sign for morning. If we can’t find a sound effect suitable someone could always record this.
- One thing I noticed when exploring the scenes today, was that Josh is starting to fall into the habit of using the same speech patterns for all his lines, but particularly when shouting/saying ‘Morgan’. Although I believe this should be the ESC’s catchphrase I felt it was getting too whiny and therefore boring to listen to, so we discussed ways to avoid this. One suggestions was that every time he says ‘Morgan’ it should be done in a completely different way – I think this is an idea we should trial in rehearsal and see what works and what doesn’t.