by Anne Flinders, dramaturg
Last week the Henry 5 cast held three more rehearsals. Rehearsal days are exhausting; a typical rehearsal for this play begins at 8:00 a.m. with a physical warm-up and an overview of the day’s work. This is followed by dance and fight choreography, blocking more of the stage action, and some scene polishing. The cast is generally allowed a half-hour break for lunch, after which they return to the rehearsal space to run and polish scenes until 2:00 p.m.
Six hours is a long rehearsal for a student, particularly when many in the cast go to classes immediately after, but this week’s Thursday rehearsal was especially challenging. The cast arrived at 7:00 a.m. and learned new choreography for some segments of the opening and closing dance numbers. They blocked and choreographed another fight sequence for one of the historic battle scenes, after which they ran the entire play. Following the run-through, the cast was trained by the hair and make-up designers. As Henry 5 will be a touring show, the cast members need to be able to do their own hair and make-up on the road. After an hour break, the cast returned in costume and make-up to meet with a photographer for a publicity photo shoot. (Great action-packed shots were taken which will be released soon.) Following the photo shoot, a camera crew arrived and a video shoot was taped that will be released as advertisement for the play. The shoot wrapped at 6:00 p.m, ending a successful day of rehearsal for this hard-working cast.
This marathon Thursday was followed by an extra rehearsal that was called on Saturday at 8:00 a.m. The cast was joined by two BYU Young Company alumni, Sarah Kron (The Hundred Dresses, 2011) and Jenna Hawkins (The Merchant of Venice, 2012), who trained them in how to run workshops for the elementary students who the play will be performed for. The cast chose games and activities to enrich the experience the children will have with this Shakespeare play. After a brief break, the cast worked for an hour on polishing transitions between scenes, dances, and battles. Then the play was given another full run with props incorporated.
The last week of January will also mark the last week of rehearsals for the cast of Henry 5. The show opens its elementary school tour on the 5th of February, and the play opens in the Nelke Theatre at BYU’s Harris Fine Arts Center on February 6th at 7:00 p.m. The show runs through February 16th. Tickets are on sale now.