by Spencer Duncan, dramaturg
And so it began… the biggest week of our rehearsals so far.
Recently, our talented group of actors met from 7 or 8 am-2 pm to rehearse our show. In the evening, they took home assignments to prep them for the next day’s work. Talk about a full day!
What exactly are they doing in rehearsal?
While these photos may make rehearsal look all fun and games (and truly, it is fun), these actors are engaging in carefully designed learning exercises.
Because Water Sings Blue is a devised piece, there was not a traditional script. Instead, the cast created the plot collaboratively under the guidance of our director, Teresa Dayley Love. The results were short, audience-interactive vignettes of story revolving around Kate Coombs’ poetry, woven together to tell about a day at the beach and in the sea.
However, such a process takes a lot of imagination and hard work.
To prepare, actors had to:
- memorize their poems
- come with rich character backgrounds
- study the marine life they will portray physically
- understand storytelling techniques and story structure
Then in rehearsal, by engaging in the carefully-designed activities and improvisations, consistent blocking and a poem-based script solidified.
You can learn more about devised work, a increasingly popular form of creating theatre, from these videos by the National Theatre.