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CAPTAIN’S LOG: The Journey Begins

blocking notes TI
Here are some of my blocking notes ready to go for rehearsal. After we stage this scene, there will be a lot more!

Rehearsals for TREASURE ISLAND are officially underway. For me, this is the most exciting part of the process – I finally get to see our version of this story with live actors! After months of planning and preparation, this is a huge step forwards.

In the first few days of rehearsal, the cast and I went through what’s called table work. Just like it sounds, table work involves the cast sitting around the table and discussing important aspects of the play. This was an opportunity to share some historical research, but also for the actors to share their ideas about their characters and to ask any questions they might have about the story. We also spent some time learning about how to work together as an ensemble, or a team. Being part of a cast – especially a big one like ours – means you’ll spend a lot of time working closely with new people.

Once we start working on scenes, one of the things the actors learn in rehearsal is their blocking – or where they move around onstage. Before rehearsal begins, I usually have some idea of what the blocking is going to look like. I make a few plans based on what I know about the set and how much the audience will be able to see from their seats. However, I almost always end up changing it based on cool ideas the actors find in rehearsal.

Luckily, in rehearsal I have an awesome team to help me keep track of all those details. Our stage manager, Logan Giesing, takes thorough notes on all the blocking for the show – including its many inevitable changes. She also writes a report after every rehearsal to keep the production team up to date on what’s happening with the show. (For example, last week we blocked a scene that takes place in a bar. Logan helped keep track of how many glasses we used so we could tell the props designer how many we’d need.) Our assistant director, Cameron Walker, watches rehearsals as well and offers his own insight. Sometimes he’s an extra set of eyes/ears to see if my ideas will work. Last week, Cameron and I practiced a physical comedy bit before rehearsal so we’d know how to explain it to the actors.

It’s a busy time for everyone involved in TREASURE ISLAND. I look forward to learning more about our show in our upcoming rehearsals.


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