Act One last night. You know what that means.
Good news is that last night was the very first time that the entire cast was present! This includes all of the "players". They didn't have much to do last night, but they were getting acquainted with the pace of the show, and the nature of their presence.
Last night was also off book night. Not a problem for most of us, but the two leads had their work cut out for them. Huge blocks of script to be memorized in a shorter than usual amount of time. They are not 100% off book, but I applaud them both for how much of Act One they have committed to memory thus far. Not an easy show to memorize, that is for sure.
I took it upon myself to set up and turn on the small baby monitor the theatre owns to feed audio from the stage back to the green room. It's more comfortable sitting back there and I also wanted to get an idea of when to enter and exit. I am zeroing in on the cues I will use to leave the green room and head backstage to wait for an entrance.
Something I did as mostly just a joke during rehearsal is going to end up in the production. I don't know if I should give it away here, in case any readers might want to see the show. But I will say that there is a moment where I, as Hamlet, walk across the stage reading to myself. (This is alluded to in "Hamlet".) Last night, on a lark, I decided to walk on stage reading the magazine I happened to actually have in my possession at the time. It wasn't my intention to do anything but mess around for a moment, but the director thought the nature of the magazine added to the scene, and asked me to keep it. So I will.
That is one thing about this play that the director expounded upon this during notes. It is an absurdist play. Much of what will be seen and heard will not necessarily make linear sense, or seem to come from our dimension. And the director flat out says that when that happens, "I don't care!". In fact she welcomes some of those little moments, which add to the oddity of the entire experience for the audience.
Also in place for the first time last night was the ramp on which I will make many of my entrances and exits. It is tiered, as opposed smooth, as I had thought it would be. But I had no problems negotiating it, even when walking backwards. It's quite a clever design, really. It is in pieces, and the pieces sot of latch together, but remain movable, should the position need to be adjusted. It isn't 100% complete, but already it adds to the rehearsal process.
My "madness" is coming along for my first few entrances, especially the first one wherein I deliver lines. At one point in an earlier rehearsal a fellow actor unintentionally interrupted me during that scene several times as I repeated the line "except my life" three times, as the script requires. He has since corrected this, but at the request of one of the other actors, who found the interruptions quite amusing, what was first a mistake has now been made a part of the scene intentionally. It doesn't bother me too much, I suppose. It could be quite funny. I don't have to change anything I am doing.
I like that scene, even though it takes forever to get to it. Hamlet is supposed to be faking insanity at that point, and it will probably be the only moment in the play wherein I may get a laugh of some kind. I may not, of course, but I am starting to play it in such a way that I could be mistaken for crazy if needs be. At least by Polonius. The rest of my lines and moments are pretty straight forward, but those few minutes, (along with one other moment in Act Two) can afford some levity on my part.
I predict that tonight's rehearsal will be the most active and possibly chaotic of them all thus far, because it snot only my most active section of the play, it is a very active section for the "Players", and it will be the first time we have had most of them. So they will need to learn from scratch what they are doing in said scene. Though very brief, their sections are almost like like a separate miniature production in their own right. They need choreography and blocking, and such things. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.