At our rehearsals for THE TEMPEST, it’s pretty obvious that there’s something special going on. There are equal parts Shakespeare, music, movement, and innovation. Best combo ever. There’s a certain amount of athleticism lent by our actors which allows us to figuratively and literally build the world of the show. We see the island as a living, breathing component of the play.
It’s difficult to explain what we mean by “movement-based” in describing the show. You can get a better idea by seeing it for yourself! But for now, we’ll do the best we can to tell you what to expect. Our ensemble of actors comes to rehearsal in athletic wear, ready to climb, jump, fall, roll, crouch, perch, slide, and slink. We Happy Few is all about the collaborative environment of rehearsals to explore the meaning behind Shakespeare’s words and the almost endless staging possibilities. To get our winning combination of movement, we start with some gymnastics and stretching, add a pinch of pretzel, a dash of dance, a hint of contortionism, and a bunch of the buddy system (times 3 or 4 or 5 or 6).
For example, in Act 2 Scene 2, there are so many ways that Caliban can be introduced to “celestial liquor” by Stephano and Trinculo. The cast worked with director Hannah Todd and movement director Jacob Janssen to work through a few possible ways to incorporate all the dialogue, not one but TWO original songs, Caliban’s character-specific stylized movement, and even a few slapstick funny moments. There’s a lot of thought jam-packed into every gesture and step. Each scene was crowd-sourced in a sense, allowing the actors to interpret what might be a natural progression for their character based on the tone of the scene. Most scenes are staged in multiple ways before a final decision is made on the blocking. While it makes a lot of work for our cast and crew, it also means that our audience will see the best possible variation of the show, which is what we aim for!
We’re creating the magic of the island through the movement of our bodies in this production of THE TEMPEST, and it wouldn’t be magic unless we kept a few secrets to ourselves. Want to find out what they are? Then get your tickets now! THE TEMPEST opens tomorrow night and runs through May 12. You have just 9 opportunities to see this show, and you definitely won’t want to miss it.