|All Hamlet's Friends...|
We're back, and we're ready to go.
We had a meeting with a rep from Centro Ybor, who approved everything we wanted to do and gave us permission to use city energy for our spotlight. Centro is drooling over the idea that someone will bring some "culture" to the area (something that, in our opinion, they should be doing themselves, but what the hell).
First auditions last Saturday, mostly females. We found an excellent Ophelia and Gertrude, and filled some smaller roles with females. Second round of auditions are this Sunday, for two more females and a large group of males. We're now missing four roles altogether: Horatio, Fortinbras, Laertes, and Polonius. We're hoping this Sunday will resolve those little problems.
First read-through is next Wednesday, then we'll begin planning rehearsals for February and March. Due to our Ophelia's having some conflicts in early March, we've decided to move the start date to Friday, April 18.
Hamlet will run April 18th (Act I), April 25th (Act II), May 2nd (Act III), May 9 (Act IV), and May 16th (Act V).
We've become a minor urban legend now in our department at university. We've heard all sorts of rumors popping up about this "new theatre company doing Hamlet", and have heard things like: "they have city funding!" (which we don't, but we wish we did). Not everyone knows that Will and I are behind it, which makes for funny times when someone asks him or me if we auditioned last week.
All in all, a good start. We're praying we can fill those roles this Sunday. So, we have two months and two weeks to get this thing off the ground.
Best news yet - Centro has finally given us a green light for the project. Will got a call from his contact there, who told us that her supervisor thought it was an excellent idea, just what Centro needed, blah, blah, blah...
The only thing we need to do to finalize it is meet with her together when we return and walk her through our ideas for blocking, etc. Simply to make sure we don't intend to through people off the balconies, use flamethrowers, whatever.
So, when I return on the 3rd, Will and I will call her and arrange a meeting on the 5th (hopefully I will be able to stay awake at night). Then, on to the stars.
Will finlly got in touch with the Centro Ybor business office. Our contact there listened to the concept and gave us positive feedback, saying it sounded like a wonderful idea and something Centro would want.
But of course, she had to talk to the People In Charge, but she thought the reacion would be favorable.
We're supposed to call back Monday for the verdict. Will expressed some concern that Centro would try to involve itself in some way, like advertising in order to draw business crowds to the area. Of course, we don't want that, at LEAST not for Act I. Preferably not anytime after that, either.
So, we're going to make a game plan to deal with that should it come up, and we're going to sit and come up with any other lame things Centro might try to pull, so that we can refute them.
We also think we've found a good female Rosencrantz.
Apparently it's not the Ybor Chamber of Commerce that needs a bribe.
We have a supporter now who's dealt with Ybor in the past, and has given us the name and phone number of the person to speak with regarding the matter. Will's going to call her tomorrow morning and offer her various sexual favors.
New acting recruit today. Excellent actress from a local university.
We addressed the continuity issue again tonight...that being the problem of doing the play in five acts over five weeks, and seeing people start watching at Act III and not know what the fuck's going on.
One proposition to solve this - Have the actor playing Fortinbras do a verbal recap (town crier-style) before Act II and on begin. Other suggestions from our reading audience would be appreciated.
Reconaissance last night. At 2 am I went down to Ybor City (district of Tampa) to shoot a few pictures of the central courtyard. I'll post some up on Monday, then more once I go back during the day.
Next task: Take on Ybor Chamber of Commerce. From what I see, they can be picky about who they rape with tresspassing charges and who they don't. Will (cohort) had told me that his brother's band used to go and play in the courtyard with some regularity, so we've gotten in touch with him to find out who needs to be bribed, nicely cajoled, or threatened. If it comes down to blowjobs, though, I'll leave that to Will.
So far we've cast Hamlet, Fortinbras, and Ophelia. Allowing for double-casting, we'll need 12 more actors. 11 if I pull a role, but the jury's still out on that one. Once we get settled with the Ybor CoC (by the end of this week, with any luck), we'll hit recruiting.
What is this crazy thing?
A collection of actors, in plainclothes, with no set and no props, performing Hamlet on the streets of the local club district in Tampa, Florida, one act per week for five weeks. The street and the crowds will be our set, much blocking left to improvisational whim on the actors' part.
Three weeks before we begin, flyers appear on the walls reading 'Who Is Hamlet?'. One week before we begin, more flyers, with 'Act I, Friday (date)' printed below.
On our first Friday, at a prescribed time, a cohort will stand up from his outdoor table, or bench, and shout "WHO IS HAMLET?". Five other plants, on both sides of the street, will then recite lines from the 'to be or not to be' speech in rounds and in different languages. Then Act I will begin, on the street, and the crowds will be free to stop and watch or pass by as they please.
Theatre the way it rarely is - a part of life. We are Hamlet. There is no success, there is no failure, only the act itself.
What the fuck? Why?
Because we don't believe in the separation of "art" and "life". Because too much theatre has gone corporate, charging high prices and pushing an image of elitism. Because it's all about being able to afford it. Because too much theatre caters to an expected audience. Because too many people think theatre is for the rich and overeducated. Because people bristle when they hear "theatre". Because too few people realize that this isn't about the struggles of high royalty; this is about every person alive.
Because people don't realize that they watch ritual theatre everytime they go to Mass, attend a graduation, see a funeral, sing in chorus.
Because we have met people who don't think they have the opportunity to see Shakespeare.
Because we believe in Boal, and we want not only the text, but a happening itself of theatre to serve a purpose - to inspire dialogue.
And because we're restless, masochistic idiots.
When is this going to be?
guerilla attack time - April 2003
So what's this journal for?
For us to keep track of our progress, and to keep those interested informed as to how we're doing. No, we're not asking for donations. Just your ideas.
sf mime troupe: view
ground zero: Ybor City
dario fo: view
|style & layout modified from eriemarie.|