Friday, June 22nd
Show Title: Volpone, or the Fox
Director: Mary Finch
Assistant Directors: Miranda McPherson and Chase O’Neill
Production Intern: Abraham Joyner-Meyers
Rehearsal Room: Deming Black Box
What we did
Rehearsal started today with Viewpoints work: experimenting with tempo and duration and integrating the techniques that the campers have been learning in morning warm-ups into the world of Volpone.
Before we continued to work on the third act, each of the actors answered a set of questions for their respective characters, filling in the following blanks:
Home is ___
I have lost ___
I miss ___
I yearn for ___
They then introduced their characters using one or more of these values, making sure to never leave the stage bare.
FINCH: “Do you know what the death of theater is? An empty stage…Please start the life of theater.”
While I went to assemble the props that the cast will be using to build our Wild West world, Finch and the actors worked through the many challenging scenes of act three, except for the crowd scenes that I’m looking forward to leaping into in our rehearsal tomorrow morning at the Blackfriars.
Quick and Quotable
From the play
MOSCA: Pursue them, and believe your eyes.
Mosca’s devious trickery and Volpone’s plots seem to be validated by sight throughout the play, but of course, most often, the fooled characters are merely seeing what they want to see. I wonder if Jonson also saw the parallel to theater, where the audience is taken in by a shaky illusion because we are eager to be brought into the world created by the actors.
From the director
FINCH: Bonario and Edgar from King Lear would get along well.
From the cast
WILL: I am Peregrine, home is not sedentary.
MIA: I am Corbaccio and I miss being respected.
CARINA: I am Bonario and home is where I can help people.
ELSA: I am Lady Politick and I have lost self-confidence.
SPENCER: I am Corvino and I value being respected.
LUCY: I am Volpone, I have lost humility.
KEIRNAN: I am Sir Politick, home is where my house is.
ADRIENNE: I am Voltore and I value my ability to speak.
CAROLINE: I’m Nano and I yearn for independence.
CHARLIE: I am the Avocado (Avocatori) and I yearn for justice, and to stay above others.
EMILIA: I am Mosca, home is myself.
SCARLET: I am Celia and I value my faith.
In a lecture for the camp this afternoon, Ralph Cohen discussed Jonson’s interest in moral plays. Unlike Shakespeare, it is always clear where he stands. He believed, in the classical tradition he was so fluent in, that art should teach. While the cast of Volpone is already beginning to criticize and analyze the moral message of the play, there is something else we are learning; how to use the tools of performing Shakespeare to put on a play by one of his very similar, but very different contemporaries.