Tonight the principles were spread throughout Dillingham. The rehearsal went from 7-10PM as usual, but at different times there were different principles on the Hoerner stage working on scene work with Susannah, in Studio 1 working on dancing with Mary, or G-16 (a classroom in Dillingham) working on individual solos with Joel. The rest of the cast was mostly on the Hoerner stage when they were needed for particular scenes. Ensemble work was done for Act I Finale which is going to be very exciting! In this scene the ensemble is split up into groups of one, two, or three, and they freeze in different poses multiple times. They go between action and freezing in poses to go with the music. It looks awesome!
With Susannah on the Hoerner stage, the actors mostly went over blocking and dialogue. Susannah would describe the movements for each actor throughout the scene. They would then run the scene and Susannah would stop them whenever she thought of something else to try or if the actors didn't quite do what she had originally wanted right away. After running the scene, the actors and Susannah would discuss each person's motivations for their actions in the scene. The actors were free to give their input if they felt more comfortable moving or talking in a different way than what Susannah had suggested. Susannah even asks the actors at various times how they feel about a scene and what they would feel more comfortable doing in a specific situation which occurs in a scene. In staging the scenes, it is all about how to portray what the playwright wants in a way that the audience will understand and believe. So it is important for the actors to give their input since they are the direct connection between the playwright and the audience.
It is great that Susannah, as the director, and Joel, as the musical director, have the convenience of having Brett, the playwright, at hand at all times incase either director wants to ask about a change in the script or score. This happened tonight because Susannah felt that a word should be added for further clarity to the scene.