By Anne Flinders, dramaturg
January 27th through February 2nd was final dress rehearsal week for Brigham Young University’s production of Henry 5. Last Tuesday was what is called a designers’ rehearsal, when the designers come to watch the play and make notes for their final tweaks and preparations for opening night. The costume, sound, and prop designers were in attendance and will make sure in the next few days that their work is ready to accompany the cast into performances, which begin February 5th on tour and February 6th in the Nelke Theatre. Lighting will be added when the production moves from its rehearsal space to the Nelke.
Unique to this particular designers’ rehearsal was that a class of sixth grade students from Wasatch Elementary also joined in as an audience for the play. This allowed the cast to rehearse their interactions and engagement with students, just as they will be doing in actual performances. Following the rehearsal/performance, director Megan Sanborn Jones asked the students to give the cast and crew some feedback about their experience with the play. From their comments it was clear that some of the favorite elements of this play for them were the rock music, the dancing, and the “serious Ninja skills”.
Thursday was a full dress rehearsal, with costumes and makeup added. The inclusion of these elements added a new dimension to the performances the actors were able to create, informing and enhancing their choices, and giving greater definition to the multiple characters each actor portrays.
Saturday was a complete run-through with a workshop rehearsal as well as another full dress. A few of BYU’s theatre students were invited to attend, as well as faculty members, who brought their children to the rehearsal to once again give the cast members an opportunity to practice interacting with students. The cast practiced leading children in playing the games and guiding the discussions which constitute the workshops that will precede the school tour performances.
BYU’s Young Company production of Henry 5 begins touring elementary schools on February 5th. The play opens in the Nelke Theatre at BYU’s Harris Fine Arts Center on February 6th and runs through February 16th. Tickets are on sale now.