We had come up with a foolproof plan to shoot all three scenes with minimal changes in between. We planned to start with the Latin version, then to shoot the English version with angry Dorippa, and to conclude with the “sad wife” version (which required costume changes for Chris and Chris). Everything worked out well in spite of a few minor challenges.
Because of lighting issues, we changed our shooting location, but fortunately we did not have to make significant changes to the blocking. We also had a moment of being concerned about the order of the scenes, since Dan and Steve would have to trade off a body mic, but that worked out OK. Doubling the Cook’s Assistant and Syra was a good choice; Syra’s appearance at the end of the scene got a big laugh in all three versions.
The Latin version went well, and we were very glad we did not have to re-take any of that scene. It felt a little bit faster than we had ever done it in rehearsal. I think part of that was picking up the cues, and part of it was the excitement of being in front of a supportive audience.
English version #1 was also a success, but we had some trouble with lines in the middle of the scene. Steve and Chris valiantly soldiered on, but the scene went far enough off the rails that we decided to go back and start over in the middle.
During the sound check for English version #2, the audience got a preview of Chris W as the weepy wife, carrying a box of tissues with yellow flowers that matched her sweater. Chris B jumped a few lines, but covered well. One memorable difference in this scene is that the Cook delivers the line “Do you want me to call the police?” to Dorippa. In both other versions, this line (“Vin m’experiri” in Latin) is a direct threat to Lysimachus. It’s still a threat to him here, but not quite as direct.
We had a great time filming the scenes and are hopeful that our choices will be useful pedgagogically. Chris B has already suggested that he might use the clips to encourage students to do practical projects in his courses by sharing the embodied knowledge he got from filming these scenes.
Thanks are due to Sharon James, who provided most of our props from her own kitchen. The oversize, double-ended wooden spoon was a big hit!