Today we performed the section from the script ‘The Glass Menagerie’ that we have been working on for the last two weeks. Ryan and Jess performed their half of the script and then Will and I took over to perform the second part. Over all I am happy with how I characterised ‘Laura’. I think I improved on my accent from previous pieces that required an American accent, which may be due to the fact I have had more time to work on it and practice. On top of this, I also used a soft spoken voice, which I think worked well and fitted the shyness of ‘Laura’, as it shows her lack of self confidence. This was especially effective as it was an intimate audience who where physically sitting close to the performance. If this was performed in a normal theatre, then I would have to project more, in order for the audience to be able to hear every word that I said but for this showing, it worked well. Something else that I think that I did well in with my characterisation, was my gestures and what I did with my hands. I think that as ‘Laura’ is shy and reserved around people, it was a good addition to the character, as it is a nervous tick that a lot of people have. There are some moments however, that when I watched our performance back, I think I slightly over did the ‘shy acting’. At the start of the piece especially, I looked down and performed to the floor. This was a character choice I made on purpose, I thought that it would show how uncomfortable ‘Laura’ feels around people, which is to a higher extent than usual as she really likes ‘Jim’. However when watching it back, i’m not sure it came across as effectively as I hoped. This may be due to the fact that it wasn’t very natural and also meant that the audience struggled to see my face at certain points. The fact I was also sitting on the floor at this point didn’t help with this either as it emphasised the looking down.
Another element that I think we did well at, was creating the atmosphere and performing in a truthful and naturalistic way. Something that I think helped us to do this was knowing where every thing was in the room that we had created. We had a clear visual in our minds of how Laura’s’ living room looked, which Will and I established early on. This meant we could create a visual for the audience to imagine. We also spent a lot of time working on the connection of ‘Jim’ and ‘Laura’. We got a lot of feedback saying that the relationship was very truthful, which made the audience feel relaxed and at ease when watching our performance. Gary described it as a ‘tender relationship’, which was exactly what we were aiming to have. I think that the fact we didn’t over act the relationship and spent so much time looking into the reasons why ‘Jim’ and ‘Laura’ say what they do, helped us to create this.
Something I would have liked to add to our piece, would be more pauses and moments of silence. When I watched it back, there were parts which felt a little rushed and I think that we could have afforded to have more pauses. I think this would have been really effective at emphasising the awkwardness, especially after the kiss. If we had a moment of silence here, it would have given ‘Laura’ time to glow and feel the happiness of being kissed for the first time. It would also have made it worse to see her crumble after having a moment of happiness, when she is rejected and ‘Jim’ says he can’t be with her. Over all I think we achieved a lot in the two weeks, and I learnt a lot from watching back Will’s and my performance. Its very different seeing us perform from an audiences perspective than from what we see when we perform. I think next time we get a script to look at, it may be useful to film our rehearsals too, that way we can work on things that we might not necessarily notice without seeing it from an audiences point of view.
In the afternoon, we all had our individual talks with Erica about the pieces we have been given for the ‘Art and Life’ commission. We first talked through the ‘Laura Wade’ ‘Alice piece, which was one of my suggestions for this commission. I already knew a lot about the piece, but Erica had said that she had a specific scene in mind that she would like us to perform. This is the iconic ‘Tea Party’ scene. This will be a good piece to perform as a lot of the audience members will be able to instantly recognise it. For our specific characters, I will be playing ‘Alice’ but we both agreed that it would be good to read the scene through and try Liam and Will as different characters, to see what combination works best. We will then cast it from that. For the ‘Jean Paul Satre’ ‘No Exit’ piece, I will need to read through the play, which Erica gave me a copy of and then I plan to watch as many different versions as I can find, to help familiarise myself with the text, as it isn’t a piece I already know about. For casting, she said that she would like me to look at playing the character of ‘Estelle’, who I plan on researching and analysing. Liam will then play ‘Garcin’ and Jamie will play ‘Inez’. From here, I will need to meet with both of my groups, so we can discuss any of our initial ideas, regarding the performance and production sides of our pieces. This should then give us a good starting point which we can follow on from. We also need to do a read through for both scenes, so that we can understand the text better.