Last rehearsal for the Reader's Theatre last night.
(ADVERTISEMENT: For those in and around the Mt. Dora area, the Dickens-Reader's Theatre will be performing a Christmas program at 7 pm at the store. Admission is one new, unwrapped book or toy to be donated to Adopt a Child for Christmas. There is a 20% discount if you purchase your donation at the store. The program includes "A Child's Christmas in Wales", "How The Grinch Stole Christmas", "The Littlest Angel" and more.)
Ah, ok, now that's over. I must express some displeasure about a portion of our performance. We are doing "A Visit from St. Nicholas". Because there are certain "political" considerations to be made when scripting out a piece (if you aren't doing alot of pieces, you don't want to do solo pieces. There is a certain consious or unconsious awareness over "how many lines" each person has.), I didn't script it for a solo, but as a rotating recitation between 4 voices. This worked well in our first rehearsal, and helped keep it from falling into the singsongy, expressionless reading that the poem's meter can create (duhduh DA DA DA duhduh, dum DA DA DA dum, duhduh DA DA DA du dum, duh DA DA DA dum).
Welp, that went out the window. Mr. Sombre wanted audience participation. He's bored. Smack him, somebody.
So now we are reading the poem as a group with the audience adding in the last word of each line (since I didn't want to be part of this mess, I'm acting as the "prompt", giving the last words in a deadpan, clipped fashion). So, since no one can agree on HOW to read the poem, it sounds like a muddled, indistinguishable mess. It is laughable, and will no doubt get a laugh. I'm sure the kids will enjoy it, as it will allow them to get boisterous. However, it comes IN THE MIDDLE of the performance, so we will get to do the last two pieces with riled up children in the audience. The whole thing is about 45 minutes long (which is really rather short in my opinion. An hour seems to be a good time. 45 minuntes -- stretching for 45 minutes -- may leave people feeling cheated.) But poor Mrs. Bookstore Owner, my friend R, is at her wits end right now, and running on the edge of exhaustion. While she wants to do this and is enthused about it, she also can't wait for it to be over.
I forsee that it will not add to the general air of the performance.
Then there's Mr. Sombre. I should be more generous to him, as he is essentially a nice guy who is fairly recently widowed, but...I don't want to be. He irks me no end. He has this marvelous deep voice, very resonant, but he reads everything the same way -- duhduh DA DA DA duh duh dum. His voice rises and falls like the tide lapping the shore, very relaxing, very soothing, very damn somnolent! He gives very little to the text. And he likes to cut lines he finds personally offensive or confusing or difficult to say. It doesn't matter what the author intended, or how it affects the meaning of the piece -- oh no! He wanted to cut out sections of the first line of Dylan Thomas's "A Child's Christmas in Wales" because Thomas wrote something Mr. Sombre thought sounded confusing.
Well, ok, on first blush a LOT of what Thomas writes can sound confusing. But he's making pictures here, putting in layers of meaning -- dammit, it sounds GREAT.
He didn't show up for the first rehearsal, which is when parts are handed out. We reserved some pieces for him, some chunky ones, but he's still not doing much overall. This might be irking him. However, he's doing about as much as I am, and I surrendered another piece that he'd have been doing more in ...we won't go into that, it might have made the program almost 50 minutes long, grr, grr -- and I now remember all those things I dislike about working in groups.
Stupid people won't do every thing they wa *I* want to. I think I will go pout for a while and stamp my feet.
Ah, heavy sigh. I love doing this a lot. I really enjoy several of the people in the group. Even Mr. Sombre has his moments when he isn't such a load of sand in the suntan lotion. We are planning more performances (when I do the scripts -- I offered to script anything anyone would type up as a file for me to work with. There was a deafening silence.)
We will see.