Bacchides

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Sung in Latin

In English, with masks

In English, without masks

Session 11: July 17

We met twice today, once in the morning and once late in the evening, to rehearse all versions.  We are now completely off book, and things are coming together nicely!

Session 10: July 13

We met once more in the Forest Theater to work on all three versions. Today was our first full dress rehearsal; we’ve been using our masks, but today we had our costumes as well.  John Starks observed and offered some suggestions for comic business which we think will liven up one of the sections that had been more static.

Session 9: July 12

Practice, practice, practice!  We met this morning in Forest Theater to run through the scene for the first time in a different part of that space recommended by the videographers for its consistent lighting; this afternoon we met again, rehearsing in masks and, for the first time, with canes for the old men.

Session 8: July 11

We continued to practice the Latin and English versions, with more emphasis now on the Latin.  We are almost entirely off book in both Latin and English.  We also had the use of three of our four masks for this rehearsal (work is still being done on the other prostitute mask).

Session 7: July 9

We met on Sunday in Forest Theater for an extra two-hour session and again for the regularly scheduled session on Monday, with the result that the sung, Latin version is becoming much more polished.  We have made a special effort to practice the (many) transitions between meters, where one of us has suddenly to introduce a new melody and rhythm.  The English is also continuing to come along well.

Session 6 (July 6)

We spent the first part of the session discussing and practicing the sung, Latin version.  We worked mostly on singing our parts in the latter half of the scene, where several anapestic meters (for each of which Ada has created a different basic melody on which we can play) predominate.  The anapests are the easiest to sing, of course, because they have a steady rhythm.  We also worked on the bacchiacs, which are prominent toward the beginning of the scene and have their own melody. We will begin to practice the (relatively scarce in our scene) trochaic septenarii soon.  In the second part of the session, we ran through the English versions with their blocking.  There were several hilarious additions to the blocking today, and one line change for comic effect.  We found a prop to stand in for Nicobulus’ cane and explored the possibilities for its use in the scene.  To remind ourselves that our lines need to be directed out toward the audience, we constructed an audience member as a point on which to focus (this “audience member” was a commedia dell’ arte mask wearing a straw hat, propped up on a table).  We have arranged an extra practice session this weekend.

Session 5 (July 3)

Today our group met for our first two-hour session.  We worked on singing our Latin text to the rhythm provided by the meter, and with a different basic melody for each meter provided by Ada.  We have finalized our English text and are partially off-book; we also recorded ourselves doing a complete run-through of it for us to listen to as we memorize our lines.  We have now decided on our three versions.  All three will feature ancient costume and be performed in Forest Theater.  1) Sung, unaccompanied Latin in masks; 2) English with masks; 3) English without masks.  We decided to change only one variable, the masks, between 2) and 3) so that our viewers will be able to see the difference made by that one factor.  We hope this will be especially useful as a pedagogical tool.

Session 4 (June 29)

Our metrical analysis of the Latin scene is coming together; because only half of us are Classicists and we are singing the Latin to a rhythm provided by the complicated Plautine meter, we are producing an actors’ version that will have long and short syllables and elisions marked. Ada demonstrated some short melodies for the group and how they might work with the rhythm provided by the Latin meter.  We ran through our English text several times with an eye to making it more colloquial.  Over the weekend Jeanne and I (Daniel) will continue this process, with  the goal of having a finalized English version at the beginning of next week.

Session 3 (June 28)

Today we met in the Forest Theater to run through our versions of the scene and work on blocking.  We discussed aspects of staging, venue choice, and what portions of the stage area we want to use and include in the camera’s field of vision.  The spoken English version, in particular, is coming along nicely.  We’ve decided to be on the lookout for sticks in the wooded areas on campus to use as canes for the old men and, failing that, to see about getting canes.

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