I wanted to explore the characters of Fife and Rosaura, how their characters are understood through their relationship to each other, and how that is learned by the audience at the beginning of the play before the very first line. Since I worked with three pairings my focus was on giving them adjustments and suggestions that would create specificity for all three pairings, which I found useful to a point--right about when we had to stop to show the rest of the group was when I wanted to start working with each pairing individually. I found that even the approximately two minutes of action that leads Rosaura to her first line ("I, wearied, worried, and for-done, alone will down the mountain...") was too much for us to work: my next step would have been to work with each of the pairings individually on just the action from when they wake to when they both are standing. I think condensing the amount of action being worked would lead us to clearer, more specific character and relationship choices. Once that very first moment of waking and standing was clear and strong, we could then start to see what happens to them next.
What I was interested in exploring last night was the soundscape created by the two songs we've begun learning. In particular, I wanted to hear them sung simultaneously, since they are so different in nature (one very celebratory and triumphant and the other mournful). I am fascinated with the tension that exists between perceived opposites and often find that really exciting things grow from that space. There is a piece of music by Bach named "Morimur" that contrasts two completely different pieces of music to great effect.
Last night, we could only use eight people to begin exploring, so it was challenging, given that both pieces have three distinct parts. Still, everyone did really lovely work and we were able to sing them together. While it was an initial attempt, I believe it will work. In particular, there were a few lovely moments when the melancholy sounded between the pauses of the celebratory piece, creating a haunting feeling.
In moving forward, I would continue exploring in two steps. First, I would continue working on having the ensemble get comfortable with both pieces of music and with singing them together. Then, I would begin exploring with a larger soundscape, along the lines that Dennis, Ali, and Tsebiyah did the previous week. I would encourage the ensemble to use only simple sounds and tones to communicate, maybe even pretending to be different kinds of animals (alligator!) and see if there is a way to have the songs grow organically from the larger soundscape.