Saturday, August 15, 2009

Commedia at University Arts in the Park

Wow! What a great afternoon of commedia. The summer troupe performed four scenarios today at Grace Park as part of the celebration of the arts. All the hard work this past summer have paid off big time! These young actors met for two hours every week all summer long in order to develop as actors and as an ensemble. I am very proud of what they have accomplished.

We spent a lot of time working on physicalizations of characters, mask techniques and working as a group to "tell the story." Tell it they did, and well! Our audiences today were into it. When I wasn't photographing, I was laughing at all the delightful interplay between the actors. They have learned to adjust to changing circumstances as well as becoming very comfortable addressing the audience and interacting with them.

In the photos, you will notice a new actor in the summer troupe. Making his commedia debut, Hamlet the Sheltie pup, did an awesome job as official "dog in the crowd." Three actors took turns "handling" the pup, who is 6 and a half months old. He has attended most of our training sessions this summer and all thanks to the troupe members who have helped him learn to socialize with young people. I have been working with Terry Cranendonk, an actor and a dog trainer, with the goal of teaching Hamlet some skills that will enhance our scenarios. We've been using positive training techniques, which have helped young Hamlet focus on his role as "extra" this summer. Look for him to become more involved in the actions next summer!