Today we had the first read-through at the Full Circle Theater Company. This carnival was for a few reasons, a bit of a circus on its first night.
Actually, the main reason was that the scripts have not yet arrived, necessitating us to copy, paste, staple, and do any number of things with the ancient single copy of the script that we had in the building, in order for each person to have at least those pages of the script pertaining to their specific roles and skits. This took quite a bit of shuffling, but at last we all got what we needed.
But before we got down to reading, we did a few relaxations exercises. And then the choreographer had some of us run through a few things. (This is a straight show, but there are two scenes requiring some dance.) She doesn't yet know that basically every choreogrpaher I have ever had, no matter how convinced they started out that I was teachable, has eventually given up on me, sent me to the back, and told me to just "try not to get in the way". But we'll let her find that out the natural, fun way...by seeing how terrible my dancing is.
Actually, it is my formal dancing that is terrible. Freestyle I pull off quite well. But I digress.
We didn't get to all of the skits tonight. Most of the first act, or about 8 out of the 15 or so skits. I have larger, parts as far as lines go in two of the five in which I appear. (Barring a change, which is still possible.) We didn't get to either of the skits wherein I deliver most of my lines.
I can say, however, that in my opinion, I was generally well cast within the show. I think I enjoy most of my skits more than the others. There are a few other winners in which I do not appear, but I think with only one or two exceptions, my talents are best put to use in the ones in which I currently appear. I admit that I hope the line-up remains the same.
There wasn't any talk of character building tonight, which is normal for a first read-through. I have only know of two directors who got into character work on the first night. But I cannot help but think of it myself a bit. And while I will naturally work to establish the characters I will be playing, my initial response to this piece is that it will be a bit more about the atmosphere the pieces create as opposed to the nuance of individual characters within the skits.
Not that there are not nuances to the characters themselves. Played well, I believe there is room for quite a bit of nuance. But most of these skits exist just outside the normal universe, and as such, establishing a conventional motivation/characterization may not be suitable. But this is just the first day. That view may well change as time goes on.
I "know" only one person in this cast, and he I have not seen for about 5 years...since we both appeared together in "Miracle on 34th Street" back in 2005. He playing Kris Kringle, and I playing the state's attorney who "prosecutes" Kringle. (That was the first play I covered with this blog, so if you are interested, go back to the very start of the archives of this blog.)
The director tells me she has seen me on stage several times before now, though. I didn't ask her in what shows, however.
Thus begins another 6 week adventure in the world of theatre. This one will be different because of the segmented nature of the show. That has both advantages and disadvantages. Both of which will be explored and discussed right here, loyal blog readers. To check back often for the next 6 weeks. Because here we go again!