Unfortunately, the cast of the one act play I am still has yet to meet for our first real rehearsal. I confess this concerns me a bit, but the situation will soon be rectified. Our first rehearsal will be tomorrow (Wednesday) at 7Pm. I look forward to it, as I have not yet even met everyone from the cast.
In the mean time I have been working on some ideas on how to represent JFK on stage. I have been to various places online, and studied video of him. Being a fan of JFK since I was a child I had some ideas of what to do, but studying actual video has brought things more into focus.
Granted, in nearly all of the videos, Kennedy is in a public forum, whereas in this play he is in a more private setting. However, it is the public persona that most people in the audience are going to recognize. And I imagine much of the public persona sprang forth from the private, one on one nature of the man. As is this case with most public figures.
I am watching his hands and arms the most, right now. Given that I do not actually resemble JFK in the slightest,utilizing similar hand gestures will be key in getting that moment of recognition from those in the audience who remember the President.
I have tried to find video of Kennedy gesticulated under various conditions. When he was emphatic, or telling a joke, or trying to explain something. I will then look for parts in this mostly comic script where the various moods would match such a hand gesture. At least as found on the archival footage I am observing. I already have several ideas.
Not that I am only looking at hands. The position of ones head when speaking is also a recognizable characteristic in a public figure. Ergo I am paying closer attention to all of that as well.
Alot of the movements will depend on how it is being staged and blocked. We will learn all of that tomorrow, I imagine. For though it is one of the plays intended to just be a reading, the director has already told us he would like us to be as free from scripts as possible. So I imagine desks and walking spaces will be involved.
Despite having no lines, I am also running the lines in my head. I do not know if I will attempt to be totally off book for it, but I want to be saying the gist of the lines, so that the interpreter will have something realistic to work off of, from a timing standpoint.
So that is where I am on the eve of the first rehearsal. I look forward to getting underway.