Riverona – Nov 8

Hello Riverona friends and fans! I’m here with another recap of a rehearsal that will maybe make theatre purists lose their minds about our process. So before I share what we did on Nov 8… just know that we had a very talented cast who is very familiar with our weird vibes. Look at how cool Hans Wackershauser, Sarah Nearing, and Joel Taylor all look in this show photo from Riverona Ep 1: Two Households by Hannah Anson and also know that all three of them are in Episode 2.

Riverona Ep 1 Production Photo of Joel Taylor, Hans Wackershauser and Sarah Nearing
Joel (Benvolio) is definitely saying “seeeeeee”(x). IYKYK.

So anyway. Controversially, maybe… on Nov 8, our fifth rehearsal, we did a stumblethrough of the entire show.

And not just that, we brought our co-costume designer (my mom) in to watch. We wanted her to get a sense of the time frame for costume changes, the characterizations that each actor was bringing to the role and just the overall vibe of the show. Full Circle Theatre believes in designing costumes that the actors feel great in. “Great” doesn’t necessarily mean “pretty”, “hot”, or “beautiful” – it means a costume that the actor feels will best serve their vision of the character. And that involves having a deep understanding of what they are bringing to the stage, not superimposing something upon them.

Beyond all of that, our actors were actually ready to do a stumble through. For those who don’t know, a stumble through means doing the entire play in order but stopping and starting as needed if there’s anything you desperately need to fix in the moment. (As directors, Megan and I try to avoid that unless something unsafe is happening or things on stage are so wrong, we don’t think the actors can find their way back to home. This did not happen on Wednesday.) Our actors were feeling itchy to do everything in order. They wanted to chart their character’s journeys, so a stumble through was perfect.

And, quite honestly, if everyone did what they had during that run? And if they had their lines memorized? We almost could have put what happened that night up on the stage and been proud.

Of course, there are still things to work on. Riverona Ep 2 has a few small fight scenes, which we choreographed after giving our notes after the stumble through. (Notes are kind of what they sound like. It’s a feedback session between directors and actors.) We also had a few scenes that we hadn’t worked on in a while, so we spent some time exploring those. Additionally, Riverona is a play that is a tv show, so we obviously need credits. That meant we also needed to spend a bit of filming content for our credits.

Is that a normal theatre thing? You tell us!

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