Main | 9/17/08 Dramaturgy Day with Ashley »

Present Laughter - Hello Blog World!

I figured I'd just take this short break I have between class and rehearsal to introduce myself to this blog. My name is Alli Schaffer, and I am a senior in the UMN/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program. I'm originally from Middleton, WI, a suburb just outside Madison. I started doing theater in the 6th grade, made the decision to continue with it while applying for colleges, and now I'm about to graduate from an acting program. As of right now, I'm planning on making a career in acting. I'm thinking about moving to New York soon and just figuring it out from there. So we'll see how that goes, eh?

I'm your blogger for Present Laughter, a comedy by Noel Coward and directed by Suzy Messerole this fall at the U. Our cast consists of half of my BFA class (8 of us) and two BA students. We've had a week of rehearsal so far and we've spent all of it sitting at the table going through the play. We did a preliminary read, and then for the rest of the week, we worked our way through the script slowly, talking about relationships between characters, the world of the play, etc. We got a fantastic session with Ashley, our dramaturg, who's job it is to tell us about the world of the play and the historical context, etc. We also did a character exercise where we cut out images from magazines to represent our characters, and put the images that the world sees on the outside of a bag, and representations of our inner lives on the inside of the bag. That was really helpful in exploring our characters on a preliminary level.

And now, I have to get some food and head out to our first rehearsal of the week. We're starting blocking, which means we're going to get on our feet and feel out the text and discover the movement for it. I'll let you know how it goes!

Alli Schaffer