Making the Dream a reality

 

For the past month or so, The Players were locked in the rehearsal room preparing for our production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, now playing at Sydney Opera House. It has been a gruelling rehearsal process comprising rigorous biomechanics training, intensive text analysis and scene work.

Earlier in the year, we were on the road bringing to you our in-schools shows Such Sweet Sorrow and Macbeth: Undone. As the year progressed, we began gearing up for our in-theatre performance. As you can see below, Jane and Ildiko were super keen to enter the ethereal wood on the outskirts of Athens and get their fairy on way back in March whilst in Albury – crafternoon is surely a thing!

Crafternoon Delight

Jane and Ildiko create Midsummer-themed headbands in Albury

 

What’s it like in the Rehearsal Room?

It was both a rewarding and challenging journey working with The Players from both teams under the direction of our Co-Artistic Director Peter Evans, our Assistant Director James Evans and our Movement Director Nigel Poulton.

An average day in the rehearsal room consisted of a 90-minute morning session of intense physical conditioning and training in the Meyerhold process. What is Meyerhold you ask? Well, Meyerhold (or biomechanics), is a movement system developed by Vsevolod Meyerhold (a Russian contemporary of Stanislavski). The system concerns itself with the art of structural forms in space and the expressive potential of the body. To assist us in executing detailed and precise physical work onstage – both heightened and naturalistic – we had to strengthen and condition our bodies (through a punishing regime of sprints, squats, sit-ups, push-ups, burpees, tumbles, martial arts – you get the idea!). On top of this, we have honed our spatial awareness skills and the ways in which our bodies physically express the intentions of our characters; so that we are constantly aware of our relationship with our audience.

After these physical sessions, we would jump straight into text analysis and scene work. In order to perform any text (let alone classical plays by playwrights like Shakespeare), an actor needs to be fully aware of what they are saying and the character’s need to say those words (the ‘What’ and the ‘Why’). As such, it has been so essential for us to probe the text and really discover and rediscover what each and every word in the play means. This ensures that we best communicate our character’s intentions when we get on the floor to rehearse the scenes. It requires great focus and attention to detail and respect for the work. Not to mention a good Shakespearean dictionary and commentary!

Directors

The Players work their scenes on the floor before the Directors.

Occasionally though, the boys get a bit sidetracked and decide it’s more fun to be Superman… Did we mention the importance of focus??

JoeAJ

 

After our four weeks of intensive rehearsals we headed into Sydney Opera House to undergo ‘Tech Week’. This is when the set and costumes are ‘bumped-in’ to the theatre and set-up so that full dress and technical runs of the show – including all lighting and sound cues – could begin. It is a useful part of the process so that we are comfortable and confident in the space and are fully prepared once the audience (you!) start heading through the door and taking your seats!

We are all so excited about the production that has emerged and the world and characters that have sprung to life in our rehearsal room!

A huge thanks to Foxtel, and to all of our sponsors who have made this show possible. We look forward to seeing you all there! Make sure you keep us posted with your thoughts and experiences on our Facebook page!

 

Season Details

 

Sydney Opera House

Monday 22 July – Friday 9 August

10:00am and 1:00pm daily

 

National Theatre

Tuesday 13 August – Friday 16 August

10:00am and 1:00pm daily

 

Running time: 90 minutes with no interval. To book tickets call 1300 305 730 or email learning@bellshakespeare.com.au.

 

 

 

 

 

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14 Comments on “Making the Dream a reality”

  1. Samara A says:

    What I found most interesting was the fact that there was so much intensive preparation needed for the show that I wouldn’t have expected actors to do, which included all of that physical training and analysing the text in detail. You obviously put a lot of time, effort and focus into your performance which payed off. The portrayal you gave of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was a unique interpretation that was definitely enjoyable. Good job.

  2. Ivy T says:

    The performance was very funny and professional.
    Good job it was awesome.

  3. Ava C says:

    I really enjoyed the play, and was glad that there was a side of comedy added to it. I thought that the fast costume and scene changes were really impressive, and also I was impressed with how well the play was presented even though the actors needed to play a couple of different roles which ended up working out really well. Great job

  4. Isabel says:

    I can’t believe how much physical preperation was involved with rehearsals!You produced a unique interpretation that helped me understand the themes and the language. The transitions were seemless which must have taken alot of rehearsing to master. Thankyou for an incredible, entertaining show!!

  5. Milli S says:

    The show was really enjoyable, I liked the comedy and scene transitions.The modern take on the play was realy enjoyable.

  6. Angel says:

    i though that the play was really clever, especially the transitions between each scenes. It was comical and contemporary while keeping the themes of the original play.

  7. Wendi Z says:

    Congratulations on achieving a truly entertaining performance! The transitions were flawless and the actors brought a strong sense of liveliness and energy to the Shakespeare characters. Every moment of it was savored and it gave us a more enthusiastic approach to Shakespeare.

  8. Carol C says:

    Your performance presented a unique and interesting interpretation of the Shakespeare classic comedy. The transition in between scenes and characters was impressive and it relefected the effort you have put into the play.It was a pleasure to watch you perform!

  9. Laetitia G says:

    The Bell Shakespeare company’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was inventive and dreamlike! The transitions between the scenes and the changing of characters was very clear and easy to understand. It provided the audience with a deeper insight into the Shakespearean drama and it was a wonderful show, one that I would definitely recommend to others.

  10. Kim C says:

    I thought the performance was very enjoyable and really made me understand the humour in the play. I loved each of your acting as it brought out all of the themes in the play really well. Great job on an awesome performance.

  11. Joy C says:

    The way that you chose to change costumes on stage was really fast and efficient. This added to the sense that this play was well rehearsed and the play was really sudden. This gave the audience a sense of hope and anticipation, but also with a feeling of surprise. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the play, as it was very different to what I had imagined it to be.

  12. Uni H says:

    I really loved the play with it’s comedy. The distinctive characters and their personalities came across very well in the acting. The set was pretty smart and versatile, the costumes were good and all the scene changes were all very smooth. The performance was very entertaining and well-done and it was really impressive that each actor could switch from role to role in the play. Great job!

  13. Chelsea says:

    WOW! I never knew you guys had to do sooo much physical training just to perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream! It sure paid off- an amazing show with remarkable transitions and movements!!! 😀

  14. Alana W says:

    The performance was very comical and enjoyable, and the use of contemporary themes involving the lover’s world worked really well. Great job on an excellent show.


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