Today’s Date: 6/24/2019
Show Title: Gallathea
Assistant Directors: Lauren Carlton and Cortland Nesley
Production Intern: Spencer Cohen (Stage Manager) and Jules Talbot (Dramaturg)
Rehearsal Room: Hunt West
What we did:
After our usual group check-in and warm-ups, we finished blocking the show! Act five has only three scenes, but 5.2 features a gigantic 20-line monologue and 5.3 is a massive group scene with every single available character onstage. As Gallathea reaches its dramatic peak, a lot of characters deliver long, persuasive speeches: there’s the aforementioned 20-liner given by Hebe (Esme), but Neptune (Andrew), Venus (Tori), Diana (Zofia) and Gallathea herself (Mia) also have a lot to say, and we started workshopping those, too.
Quick and Quotable
From the play:
“Confess [Cupid] a conqueror, whom ye ought to regard, sith it is unpossible to resist; for this is infallible, that love conquereth all things but itself, and lovers all hearts but their own” (5.3.770-2).
From the director:
“So now Neptune mansplains the plot . . . ”
From cast members:
“Go, Mom, go!”
—Esme (Cupid) to Tori (Venus, Cupid’s mother)
“Can the Goddess of Love legally marry someone?”
Our new rehearsal space, Hunt West, has a mockup of the Blackfriars Playhouse’s frons, or the two-story structure towards the back of the stage with two entrances bordering a central “discovery space.” Those two side entrances used to be doors, which had an annoying habit of slamming, but this season the ASC replaced them with curtains as a bit of an experiment—it’s never been confirmed that the original Blackfriars had doors and we’re all about upholding Shakespeare’s original staging conditions.
All of this means that instead of the usual door-eography, our cast and crew must quickly learn curtain-eography, choreographing the who, what, where, and when of opening and closing these drapes, which is surprisingly complicated. The doors were weighted to close by themselves, but the curtains have to be pulled shut manually. If, for example, Neptune enters the center curtain for his monologue, an actor might need to be stationed backstage to close it behind him. Both curtains and doors have unique pros and cons, and while it may seem like minutiae, live theatre is predicated on attention to detail.