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Rehearsals have begun!

It’s only week one of rehearsals for As You Like It, and CityShakes’ creative team is already knee-deep in the world of the play.

This past Sunday, we spent our first rehearsal in and around our performance site at Rustic Canyon Park. What an inspiring place to explore this play! If you haven’t been, the Rustic Canyon Park and Rec Center in the Pacific Palisades is a little urban oasis – surrounded by picnickers, birthday parties, and pick-up basketball games, our thespian activities became an integral part of the community, rather than something tucked away in an isolated, windowless theater.

park

These trees are made for climbin’!

We began in a clearing adjacent to the rec center, discussing the necessity and appeal of Shakespeare, and the essence of As You Like It. I performed my “essence piece” for the cast (a tool I learned and adapted from one of my mentors, Shana Cooper), in an attempt to physically demonstrate what I believe to be the central question of the play: “What is your version of freedom, and how do you go after it?” Each actor in the cast will create his or her own essence piece and share it over the course of the next few rehearsals, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

Colin Martin in a tree!

Colin Martin in a tree!

We also toured the performance space, and I described some of the design elements we’re going to use in the show. Our Viewpoints-inspired movement work was cut short by Greg stepping on and consequently being stung by a bee. (I guess if it had been me that got stepped on, I’d have stung him, too.) Despite the setback, we persevered and moved to the picnic area for tablework.

Look, lexicons!

Look, lexicons!

All in all, we had a pretty lovely day in the park – the first of many to come.

Ok, so I covered trees, and bees….oh, yes, lions! In addition to playing Silvius, Mark Holzum (pictured above in the fly aviators) is originating the role of Charles, the clever, anthropomorphic circus Lion. Tuesday night, when the circus folk (or courtiers, as Shakespeare called them) met at The Electric Lodge for our second rehearsal, we began staging the “wrestling scene”. Of course, in our production, the wrestling scene is a lion taming. Below, Orlando attempts to tame Charles by mimicking him. Will this tactic be successful?

Theo Salter as Orlando 'tames' Mark Holzum as Charles the Lion

Theo Salter as Orlando ‘tames’ Mark Holzum as Charles the Lion

Well, you’ll just have to come out to Rustic Canyon Park this summer (Saturdays, June 8, 15, 29, or July 6), and find out!

‘Til next week,

Brooke

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