Updated: Dec 31, 2021
Jo knows that sitting behind a computer for too long can get tiresome and tailors the exercises accordingly. Every Skype meeting starts with getting in touch with your surroundings, your body and each other. First we work with a selection of Macbeth scenes. Things we would normally focus on are more difficult, such as making a connection and making sure there are no gaps between where someone’s lines end and the other’s start (which we call overlap), because of the internet lag.
“Working from home was definitely challenging, but we found good ways to mitigate it. By focusing on aspects of the play that were easier done from home, for example. And Jo came up with plenty of exercises that were fun to do and kept us all excited,” Daan says.
“We could still work together on something we really loved doing,” Rianne says, “Really look at the Shakespeare’s lines, analyse them and discover the rhythm. Making eye-contact whilst rehearsing a scene was difficult, but there was still this idea that we were doing it together. That feeling of togetherness was nice during such tumultuous times.”
We focus on the iambic pentameter, the five beats in a verse line in which most of Shakespeare’s plays are written. In between Shakespeare scenes, we do some more improvisations about what the different characters would think about what’s happening in the scenes. And on like this we go, until a player has to drop out due to the pandemic. This is quite a hit for our already tiny cast. The assurance for a performance seems to dim, but we stick together and power through.
We make the decision to let Gaia, our youngest actor to date, join the play. She fits the way we work, but is too young for the character that is now without a player. But out of the blue, there is another actor who wants to join and she fits this character well. A whole new character is written for Gaia and within 1,5 months, the script is complete. Though late in the year, the two new actors have a characteristic that is key for being part of the Park Avenue Family: enthusiasm for Shakespeare.
Gaia reflects on joining the cast: “It was great, the group was very accepting and open. They made me feel at home even though it is hard work and I was nervous of course.” Eva confirms that it is “intense and really exciting to work with enthusiastic people in such a short time.”
They pick up on the verse like there is no tomorrow and everyone goes into full gear with only 3 month left until the performance…