Pseudolus Group C

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Our scene is on-line—watch us act, discuss, then act some more!

 

Jeanne’s reflections on filming.

 

Pseudolus C, the Drag Kings, thoroughly enjoyed the filming, the product of a lot of hard work, compromise, and good fun; the fact that we were filming more than delivering a live one-time-only performance added a safety net to the proceedings. What we hadn’t rehearsed was stopping for laughter from the audience! The added dimension of audience appreciation made the experience even more enjoyable.  We think the fun and mutual enjoyment and respect will show through in the final product.  The breakout scene became integral to our performance and expressed  some of the questions we all struggled with during the Institute but detracted not at all from the frame scene.  Although the change to Gerrard Hall came very late, it proved a good move and provided an intimate venue (that felicitously matched Pseudolus’ and Calidorus’ shorts, contributing to our ability to hide in plain sight).

 

 

Session 9: July 13

Pseudolus C had its first rehearsal in the Forest Theatre today, and thanks to some careful blocking prep work in our previous classroom spaces led by Chris, our transfer to the Forest space was pleasantly smooth.  Mary-Kay joined us for much of our rehearsal this morning, and we appreciated her willingness to help out and offer feedback in service of our post-modern, gender-bending, deconstructionist version of the scene.  As Ballio, Mimi’s physicality is really coming alive in costume, and Elizabeth’s biggest problem was not cracking up too loudly from the “audience” space!  In short, we’re lookin’ good.  We were able to do two solid run-thrus from start to stop, and are excited to see what elements the videography will bring to our scene.

Session 8: July 12

“If you’ve got lady business, we want you!”  We called and (thanks to everyone) many answered.  This morning, the Pseudolus C cast met with its full assembly of male slaves (females playing males), courtesans (females playing females), and main cast (females playing males; females playing…um, HUH?)  Thank you so much to what Meredith refers to as our Ladies’ Auxillary:  Amy, Erin, Sophie, Nancy and Angela, and an additional shout-out to Ada for flexibility and general game-ness.  Cross-dressing, sex jokes, riding crops and feminist theory…yup, we’re on it!

With our script in place, we had our first stumble-thru today with some beginning blocking in place.  We enjoyed the presence of the lovely Amy Richlin who joined us and generously helped us sort through a couple of last sticking points with language and translation, and we finished up the rehearsal by scavenging thrift shops in Chapel Hill and in Carrboro for specific costume pieces.  Three cheers for field trips!

Session 5 (July 2)

The all-girl “Pseudolus” got up on its feet for its first full walk-thru utilizing new text and translation fully generated in-house (and thank you, Sharon, for being our stand-in courtesan!).  As we begin to take it from the page to the stage, we are looking forward to utilizing bigger spaces for rehearsal and to seeing how we far we can stretch.

Session 4 (June 29)

We spent the bulk of our time today in two central production areas:  Acting and Playwrighting.  Elizabeth led a mini-workshop in cross-gender acting with a specific eye toward females performing male roles, and Meredith framed out her translation of the scene and emphasized the importance for the speaking actors (Mimi, Chris and Jeanne) of the fluidity of this process.  Quote of the Day:  “Feel how the words taste on your tongue.”

Session 3 (June 28)

What a difference a day can make!  At Chris’ suggestion, this Pseud group decided to have a working lunch and that work yielded much:  a more nuanced concept of the King idea (as previously mentioned), and one or two added elements that strongly support the ongoing relationship between Classics and Theatre: metatheatricality, asides to the audience, etc.

Session 2 (June 27)

This all-girl cast continues to explore ideas of how to translate classical-era cross-gendering (read:  original all-male troupes) with one of its many possible modern/post-modern counter parts!  After discussing notions (and loaded-ness!) of terms like “cross-dress”, “cross-gender”, etc., we did find time to do both a table read and a standing read today, with our existing “layering” of the modern performance tradition of drag Kinging on top of the classical script.  Elizabeth shared essays and visual images on drag performance and its own history (Kinging and Queening), Chris spoke beautifully about how she arrived at the original (to THIS production!) idea of manifesting King performance, Meredith and Jeanne enjoyed the agreement to work together to help the non-Latinists gain understanding of the language and its original meaning.  Girls rock!

Mimi began the embodiment of Ballio first in the table read, and then in the standing read: over the course, Ballio gained an odd sense of height. Mimi sees someone who wants stature but does not have it.  And even though “the” world knows that he will not have the opportunity to acquire it, he…hmmmm, we’ll see what happens.

Session 1 (June 26)

Our group met for the first time today and developed some real directorial and production ideas.  Our directorial concept plays with elements of both cross-dressing and cross-gendering as discussed by modern/post-modern feminist critics (Sue-Ellen Case, Rhonda Blair) and practitioners alike (Peggy Shaw, Holly Hughes); we are excited to have such a strong blend of backgrounds from Classics and Theatre Arts, and to bring elements from 20th century drag King traditions to our stage.