Thursday, March 24, 2011

Life StoriesDesigning Our Production

A collaborative group flexible with their words..their stories..willing to try anything....all filled with the courage to explore new leap and leap and fly!  Leading and being led by this amazing group of people is a new chapter of fulfilling my life life story.

The Memory Chair (cont’d)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This is week eight of Life Stories class…and the climb down the other side seems to be moving faster than the climb up the first half of our journey’s ladder.

Change has become the norm: the chairs are once again spread out against the walls, pulling in slightly at the corners to make a ¾ circle. Wrenn mixes it up in the ‘warm-up’ activities with a face, mouth, and tongue exercise, saying this will prepare us for what’s ahead. After we stretch everything above the neck: making our faces appear as though looking in one of those ‘funny’ mirrors at a circus, drawing up sounds from our throats that would have us being picked up by the local authority if witnessed; and uttering vocal phrases that defy translation; she at last says our faces, tongues, and throats are loosened enough to go forward with today’s program.

Today, we will speak our stories into existence.

We are partnered in groups; each group has to review and work up an improvisational presentation for a story already selected by Wrenn.

Six skits are showcased: four of the stories being repeat improvisations; only this time around, the action more fully developed. The first new story involves Mardell’s depiction of her moment in the limelight—literally—one of those ‘oops, there goes the pants’ scene that stays with you for life! The last interpretation, a stand-out performance belonging to Don, Hess, and Ted; a trilogy on dealing with the serious complications of war times: lives changed forever…or the final loss—death of loved ones.

The assignment for next week centers on developing interesting skits, and given a time limit of about an hour of performance time, we are feverously scrambling to make a playbill that keeps the audience glued to their seats and waiting breathlessly for the next scene.

And of course, each performer, just before stage entry, will get that all time, grand edict of show business: Break a Leg!

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