I think one of the most valuable skills you can develop as an art maker is being aware of how you work, how others work, and learning to bring those two things together in a productive way. I have mentioned before on the blog that I am a process-oriented thinker– and it’s for this very reason. Awareness of how the work gets done leads to both better work and a healthier relationship to that work.
That’s why I am so thrilled that our campers don’t just get to see performances at the ASC, but they get to see their rehearsal process as well. Today the students will get to sit in on a rehearsal for ASC’s production of Julius Ceaser. Then later tonight they will get to see a dress rehearsal of the show.
This is a wonderful opportunity for the students to not just see great work, but gain an understanding of how that great work comes to be. These students will be able to see how a choice is made, refined, or reworked, and then see the manifestation of their observations. They get to see highly trained professionals at work and think about “How do they conduct themselves in a rehearsal room?” “What choices are they making with the text and why?” “How is everybody in this room working as a team?” “And how is everybody supporting the story they are trying to tell?”
But wait there’s more! Not only will the students be seeing Julius Ceaser’s rehearsal and dress rehearsal, but later in the summer they will get to see the full production…twice! You may be thinking “that seems like overkill on that one play”. But there is a method to the madness. Being able to see this process step by step has value. Going from a rehearsal, to a dress rehearsal, to a show, and then finally being able to see how that show grew even after it was up, is a great learning tool.
Plus, imagine how deep the students will be able to go into this text. I guarantee that every student will have a moment when watching these shows where they discover “wow, I didn’t notice that aspect of the play the last time I saw it”. Shakespeare’s plays have considerable depth. There’s a reason why people go to see these shows over and over and over again, there’s always more to find. Giving the students the opportunity to flex those muscles, to be able to go further and further into the play will help bolster the lessons they are learning in their rehearsal rooms.
I’m interested to see what they’ll learn from this play. I’m sure we’re about to have a lot of interesting discussions here at ASCTC and I can’t wait for them.