Saturday, June 23, 2012
The director of our Romeo and Juliet lives in the old servants' house on the grounds of the Palazzo Corsini, just a few kilometers from where we will perform the play.
During the run of the show in July, the gardens will open early to give folks a chance to enjoy them; there will be wine and treats; and there will be open-air Shakespeare, performed in English with Italian translation projected over our heads onto the wall of the lemonarium behind us.
A week into the quick rehearsal process, we are temporarily on our own, as our director's son is in the hospital with a high fever and an infection they have not yet identified. She is at her wits' end. (I understand. We've had to bring Gabriel to the hospital a couple of times and it is an awful despair waiting for news knowing you can do nothing.)
We meet in the yard, rehearse scenes, work on lines, and choreograph our stage combat, which consists of some hand-to-hand, and fights with rapier-and-dagger, involving two or three or more combatants.
With a cast that comes from so many places and backgrounds, there is a mix of techniques and preferences. At the director's request, I've led some vocal warm-ups, the fight choreographer and I both lead physical warmups, and several members of the cast meet in the mornings for yoga.
In such a quick rehearsal process for a Shakespeare, there is a sense of frenzy at the beginning since there is so much to be done. We do have enough time, especially with such capable actors, so we just get to it and push along.
Today, there was some local press about the show and the Shakespeare camp we are teaching next week. By all means, read about it here. (The article is in English.)
After rehearsal, there is beer -- and this is also a time that I use Skype to have a look at my wife and sons back in the United States. (We are eight hours ahead of them.)
[Top: The yard where we rehearse. Bottom: Garth Laughton and Elia Cittadini, two of the actors in our production.]