Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shortest Act Ever.

I suppose I can't back that up totally. Yet after last night's full run through of Act II, it became clear that for our production the second act will take just over ten minutes. That's ten minutes for all of Act II. (Of five.)

We ran it three times, the first with discussion and blocking, (as we had never run the first scene of the act before) and the second two times straight through with just some minor tweaking. It was shorter than many of the individual scenes from other acts. We were released an hour early, that is how quickly it went. The director didn't think it would go that fast. But she was satisfied with the progress of the Act enough to end rehearsal when she did, let we over-rehearse the scenes.

I am happy to report that I am off book for Act II, and didn't need my script last night. Not that i have much to say in Act II, but off book is off book. It's not an interesting act, though. I have I think two moments, unique to this production, that I enjoy from Act II, but otherwise it is almost all pipe-laying. (exposition.) Required, of course, but not exciting for either actors, nor I would assume, audiences.

The three scenes include the one and only appearance of King Edward IV. (Who I must say does have an excellent monologue in this act. Probably the only interesting speech in Act II.) He had yet to be cast, but it is looking like someone is interested in the role.

Most of that scene is Edward requesting the various bickering factions to make peace with one another. Whether they mean it or not, (and they probably don't), they promise to no more be at odds in this scene. Also the death of Clarence is revealed, much to everyone's surprise. At the very end, Gloucester addresses Buckingham for the first time with any significance. I am treating that moment as the start of their partnership. Or at least the off-stage moments right after said conversation.

The next scene is mostly a lamentation scene for the dead King Edward IV. I do come on at one point, and in a way eulogize the dead King, and encourage the court to send for the young Prince of Wales to be crowned. At the very end of the scene Buckingham conspires with Richard to begin what they "late talked of", in regards to driving a wedge between the young prince and his mother's family.

I don't appear in the third and final scene of the Act, which consists of the younger prince, the Duke of York, talking with his mother and grandmother, and a messenger revealing that Rivers and Grey have been arrested. Queen and prince rush off to claim sanctuary, and that is the end of Act II.

I'd get into more detail about the rehearsal, but again, so little of interest happens from an actor's standpoint that there is little more to say. These three scenes must be clear to the audience as much information is revealed. One could indeed call it an information dump. Yet exciting? Artistic? Neither, really. I have as I said two moments of inner monologue which I can hold onto to get me through this short ride, and King Edward has an excellent speech. But Act II simply isn't a deep not complicated section of the play.

Rehearsing it was a bit odd, actually. I'd be sitting there listening to notes for a moment, then get up to go back stage to start Act II. Within five or six minutes I'd be sitting down again. I have had bathroom breaks last longer. One almost forgets one just rehearsed two scenes.

A stark contrast to tonight's run through of Act III, which should be quite the experience. It is my busiest act by far, and I am not off book for this one. I am for some of the scenes, I believe, but for my biggest scene, I am at best half way off book. I will be working on that each day between now and off book day.

I also might want to remember Red Bull and vitamins for the future when I run this scene.

In brief other news, the director told us that our final dress rehearsal will be open to the public as a "pay what you can" preview performance. I am not sure what I think of that. On one hand it gives us an audience earlier than normal. On the other hand it gives us an audience earlier than normal. I sort of like the last rehearsal to be an isolated, inside baseball type of affair. Yet I can't be too disappointed. Given that we are only running a single weekend, the preview show will probably make all of the effort a bit more rewarding.

No comments: