Tuesday, February 01, 2005

A Little Fall of Rain

We are wrapping up our music rehearsals this week. We ran the highlights of Act 1 with the entire cast on Monday, and they did pretty well, especially given that it had been two weeks since we had learned some of those songs. Today we ran the whole Act 1 with just the soloists, a process we'll repeat with Act 2 tomorrow and Thursday.

As we ran over the songs again today, I encouraged my actors to start having more fun, to find their characters. We started doing some minor blocking in the middle of the circle of desks (we were rehearsing in my classroom, as the stage was being used for an Academic Games competition), and as I coaxed my Hortons onto the tops of their desks ("Then carefully, tenderly, gently he crept/up the trunk to the nest where the little egg slept"), I prepped my Things 1 and 2 for the scene where they create a rainstorm for Horton.
According to the script, they are supposed to pelt Horton with water from squirt guns. Lacking those in my prop supplies, I grabbed two bottles of water from my fridge and tossed them to my Things. They caught them as Horton and the Bird Girls were singing their part, and looked at me wonderingly. I nodded and encouraged them to "Go ahead!" Unfortunately, I was forgetting the precariousness of giving 8th graders those instructions with fully-loaded water bottles.
It took less than 3 seconds for them to empty those 1 liter bottles on both Hortons, the Mayzies and the Bird Girls, some of my Whos, and Janelle, not to mention the scripts each of those characters were holding.
You know, after the water fight we had in Advanced Drama last year, you would think that I would remember that middle schoolers lack of propriety when armed with water bottles....

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