Tuesday, April 10, 2007

back into the motion

I thought my first day back after a luxurious spring break would be rough, but despite less sleep then I am used to, it was a fine day. The morning was spent giving a state standardized test and freshmen reading independently followed by one of my favorite creative writing class periods thus far (I love discussion days when they are energetic and interested).

Musical rehearsals are back in full swing now. It was mainly a dance rehearsal, which isn't my purview (in fact, if I were to have anything to do with choreography, the kids would be lurching about on stage), so I took advantage of the opportunity to photograph the action.

There was one particular move that I snapped photos of again and again and found a few expressions on the students' faces entertaining:

This proved difficult and had to be done again and again to get it passably right. They whirled around the stage like teacups, some a little closer to falling off the edge and shattering then others. My co-director's mantra was: seventeen days until opening night, are you ready? She threatened them with a Saturday rehearsal, which is often the carrot to keep them going. No one wants to come in on a Saturday, after all (of course, I will not be coming in on any Saturday as this upcoming one I have a five hour poetry course on the persona poem and the next Saturday I will be in my own fancy dress for Kelly's wedding).

Four hours later, rehearsal was over, kids shuffling out, cell phones flipped open, backpacks dragged behind. We will do this all again tomorrow--we will revise, repeat, and return to the beginning.

I had a few quiet moments in the auditorium while a few still lingered, so I took a moment to examine shadows and light on the set. Last year's set was probably our weakest point--it was painted poorly, made horrifying noises on the casters as it moved about the stage, took up vast amounts of time during scene changes, and was cumbersome. Of course, this is the burden of starting a new program: we do not have reliable assistants (or even directors) in place to keep the program maintained and experience to drive the darn thing. Instead, we have a rag tag collection of folks... or at least, last year we did. This year, we are lucky enough to have the same person doing lights and sound and the set, and he has experience, and I think it is shaping up beautifully. There are even windows in the doors (see the last picture)! We still have a ways to go before it is completed, but we are in a much better place then we were this time last year. I don't feel as drunk with fear either.

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