Whose words are they, anyway?

This morning I had the opportunity to have a session online with my co-actor in Phoenix, without our director.  When the cat’s away, the mice will play? You might think so!  In this case, we used the time to share some thoughts on the ‘back-stories’ of our characters: who might have done what to whom and why.

Then we went through the script, picking out the Shakespeare quotes, and wondering why our characters might have chosen to use those words at that particular moment. Is it because they like the quote for its own sake?  Or have the words some personal meaning for them? We talked about that thing that happens to some actors who are very good at remembering lines – and I used to be one of them – where they can converse in nothing but quotes from plays for hours on end.  I was reminded of a time when I was very much younger, when it seemed to me that I had nothing to say for myself, because I was always quoting someone else. It was, indeed, quite scary.

Finally, we wondered if there was anything different going on when we choose to quote from Shakespeare, as against a contemporary playwright. I decided the difference was that, for me, Shakespeare says what I want to say, but in way fewer words. He is much more concise, and his imagery packs the kind of punch that approximates to the depth of feeling I need to express.

I just love it.

How about you?  Would you choose to use Shakespeare’s words to express some deeply felt experience, or idea?

First Contact

Our first rehearsal, with director Angela Giron and actors Flloyd Kennedy and Lauren Dykes, took place this morning. Angela and Lauren are in Phoenix, Flloyd is in Brisbane. We had great hopes for Skype and the new Beta version for Mac, but it took a few goes to get all three of us hearing each other. Then we discovered that Skype advertises Group Video-Conferencing with the new version, but is pretty sneaky about the fact that it has to be paid for.

So, considering this is a play about the voice, we read through the text with no vision, and Angela had the first chance to hear the script spoken through. Altogether, a well worthwhile exercise.

I’ve now taken a month’s free trial with Skype’s Group Video-conferencing, I’ll let you know how that goes!

It seems that I am the only person in the world who still hasn’t seen the movie The King’s Speech. I will! I want to! Especially now that Angela has pointed out that it deals with the same ideas our play expresses, on the nature of the voice, and the voice as the expression of the self. The more – the merrier!

Revised script for Phoenix, this is how Wordle sees it.

Phoenix, Here We Come!

Plans are well in hand to take our production, The Fall of June Bloom (or What You Will) to Phoenix, Arizona in March 2011. Thunder’s Mouth is delighted to announce that we will be working with local creatives Angela Giron and Lauren Dykes. I’m working on the video now, but in the meantime, here are some stills from our Brisbane production.