Today was casting day. After the success of our last play, I was curious if more students would show up. We walked up the stairs and found a big crowd of students outside the theater, mostly girls, many of them new. We all sat together in the theater and began with introductions. Chuck described who we were and what this project is about while I quickly ran downstairs to find any stragglers. We heard a rumor that students would come from school No. 15, but no one showed up. After introductions, we gave the students the lecture on commitment. We need people who are responsible, on time, able to move and speak clearly, memorize lines, and can work as a team. To send the point home, I pointed to the door and asked anyone uncommitted to this project to please leave. And I waited a few more second to make sure. With nearly 30 students on this project, I don’t have much time for horsing around.
So then I showed the students a power point of all the characters in the play, and I described the story. Then we began casting. I called out a character’s name and asked if anyone had interest. The casting went pretty well. For a few roles, (Maid Marian, Countess, Narrators) we had to have students read a selection and then Chuck, the TLGs, and I decided who would get the part. Students got choices and things were handled fairly. Even in these tiny moments we demonstrated how a civil society works – goals for ELCE and TLG. We looked for students who could speak clearly, show enthusiasm, and be reliable. For those students who did not get the part, I offered them other roles.
We have about half old students, half new ones. The students from the previous production all know how we work – we start on time, we work hard, we use our time wisely, we have fun. I expect them to be the leaders of the production, but I also want new students to learn from this experience. We’re building a community, slowly, slowly. We need a few more students, but I fear we’ll end up with too many extras. I can’t have ten non-speaking extras standing on stage carrying spears. Too much.
Everyone wrote their name, phone number, and email on a piece of paper and we finished for the day. Next rehearsal, Wednesday at 2pm. And there we will finalize the schedule.
So a good day. No tears. Everyone who came seems to have gotten the part they wanted.
At home, we put the final touched on the script. We wanted to include more Georgian language in this play, and copied and pasted bits translated by our colleague, Nino K. Next to come are music lists, stage combat lists, prop list, set design, and costumes. Poster is done, thanks to Dachi.