Oh, boy. I was doing so well. Made all 14 other Ma-Yi Labfest Readings and still managed to finish my play, rehearse it and get it up with the wonderful actors.
And then the next day I crashed.
Teaching has been especially hard this week because my energy has waned, I am fighting the dumb flu that everyone is sneezing and coughing around, and Teaching Artistry is a highly energetic, highly creative job. Today was a good day, though. I got to help some students at Flushing International HS scribe and rehearse plays–their “What happens next?” or “What other adventure could Jason go on?” in response to Jason and the Argonauts, the wonderful two-man version by Visible Fictions.
And then, I realized why I love theater–the rehearsal is really the fun part. And, as Visible Fictions does, they were charged with using props, minimal costumes, action figures, to fill out the world. Two fellows in two different classes built full dragon tail regalia. There were sword fights with homemade swords. Heroes who stood up to tyrants and brave princesses who defeated monsters. I just tried to remind them to use what we learned, transforming our bodies and voices to become the characters and inventively using props and space. Being students recently arrived, many are shy about using their English, but today, one girl I’ve never heard speak until today, powerfully spit out her lines. Perhaps because it was “play,” the stakes were lower and she was able to engage in front of a crowd. Joy.
All in all, a good day of play.