Savannah's Theatre Blog

Tartuffe on Thurday 20 and Friday 21!

Posted in Uncategorized by Savannah on May 24, 2010

I thought our performances were wonderful! Especially considering where it came from. On Monday when we were rehearsing I thought it would be like the performance of The Caucasian Chalk Circle I saw last year that the Year 10 class performed. But everyone put in a lot of hard would and I think it really paid off because there were so many laughs! And appreciation I hope.

We did two performances and it was interesting to see how they differed. The first performance, we all remembered our lines and cues, etc. but personally I felt that we hadn’t really become our characters. I think also due to nervous energy, and perhaps the many speed runs we did, we were rushed in places and because of the old english, this meant the audience may have found it difficult to understand. I found (after talking to fellow students and parents) that it was the first scene that was the most rushed. In the next rehearsal, I asked to work on slowing the scene down – not the cues but just the lines themselves. I think having a slightly calmer start but still with lots of energy was what helped save us on the second night.

In that first scene (my main scene as Madame Pernelle) there were so many cues and lines forgotten, dropped or misplaced! I don’t blame anyone in the slightest for this because it could have happened to me just as easily. Taleah mixed up her first line – which was directed at me – so I had improvise and I was very proud with what I managed to pull off and then how we all just worked together to make the scene work! It was just wonderful – we all saved each other so I was incredibly proud of everyone else too! In that same scene, Daniel forgot to snicker which was my cue for the line:

‘So, the gentleman must snicker now must he?’

And of course this would make no sense if he hadn’t snickered so more improvising! And I was so glad that Daniel didn’t freeze, realised what his mistake was and rectified it. I think Daniel in particular improved dramatically from that Monday to the performance days and I was very proud of him for that and happy because it took some pressure off me.

However, on both nights the technology proved to be an issue. All I had to do was press play on the laptop and move the book (what we were using as a cover) out of the way to play the recorded scenes which I was very grateful for because I am hopeless with most technology. On the first night, the speakers were not working so I quickly explained to the audience that we were having slight technical difficulties and ran as fast as my legs would carry me (and as my dress allowed me to) to find Taleah and ask her to fix it (she was in charge of the media portion). Her “repairs” lasted a while but stopped working later on so I just hope the audience managed to keep up with virtually no sound! IOn the second night, the laptop had somehow turned itself off! I managed to turn it on (I am not entirely oblivious to technology) but it was locked, so again I had to run to get Taleah and fortunately she fixed it before I needed to play the videos.

Something else: I found that I felt so much more Madame Pernelle when I was in costume and the lights were on. In the second performance I was her and it was wonderful. It’s what I constantly and striving to get and I think when I am able get to know the character more this will prove easier but for the time I had I am really happy with what I achieved. Also, over time I know that getting straight into character will simply become a reflex.


Coming into class a little late…

Posted in Uncategorized by Savannah on May 12, 2010

I changed from HL History to HL Theatre for the start of Term 2, 2010. This proved rather difficult – well, that was an expectation I’d had – because the class was already immersed in a play; Tartuffe by Moliere (full name: Jean Baptiste Poquelin Moliere). It is a small class, so there were still roles left – no female roles though. So, I got given the role of ‘the officer’. I cannot say that I was particularly thrilled about this but was still determined to give it my best shot! After the first rehearsal with the officer, it was easy to see that I was struggling and I knew I had to put a lot of work in. I started thinking more about the physical ways in which the officer would move and once I had firmly established this: put it into practice. Well! That is certainly easier said than done! I am not a masculine or “tough” female person. I’m much closer to a dancer asides from my rather broad shoulders. But I knew I would eventually be able to work that to my advantage…

The problem was averted! Not in a way I was particularly thrilled about but never the less, I understood completely. Leanne left the Theatre class. Now, I hadn’t been in Theatre long enough to be particularly dependent on her and at this stage, I was still a little out of the loop. However, it meant that there was a major problem: there was now a major role with no actor/actress to fill the spot and the performance was only a week away!

This was easily solved though – I took her role on (Madame Pernelle) but it created all sorts of problems. I literally was not able to connect with the character and learn all the lines in the short period of time we had and besides that many people did not know their lines well enough to perform. So, we changed the date (and apparently this had been done before) and this also meant that we had to change the poster…

Leanne was responsible for the poster to advertise the upcoming performance and thus was the only one with the ability to change it. After Jesse attempted to gain the ability to change the poster with no prevail, Ms Flood created her own but still with the hope that Leanne’s design could be recovered or that Jesse could design a new one. So that problem is also solved but it means more work for other people and that is very unfortunate!

None the less, I am very happy to now have the role of Madame Pernelle. She is not exactly similar to me, but I am able to relate to her much more than I was to the officer.