In a noble effort at TASK AVOIDANCE last week, I actually began to work on As You Like It (auditions Jan 26–27, performances Mar 19–29 at Newnan Theatre Company).
Applying what we know about WASTE BOOKS and SUCCESSIVE APPROXIMATION (and Twyla Tharp’s method of “dump everything into a box”) with a touch of bullet journaling (but just a touch), I have started my AYLI waste book:
The first four pages are indexes:
As I scribble and dump, I can index those ideas so I can find them, a la bullet journaling.
The next page is the all-important character distribution chart:
The character chart is vital for several reasons. It lets me see where doubling is possible as well as the minimum number of actors I have to have. It gives me a handle on the rehearsal schedule, because only SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING would waste actors’ time by rehearsing a show in order during early rehearsals. Using the chart, I can group scenes together and give my talented but amateur cast a few nights off early in the process.
For AYLI, I have two other indicators: little blue notes at the top indicating that there is a song/music in the scene (some of Shakespeare’s more famous lyrics); and a color code to show the shifts between the worlds of the court and the forest, detailed even further between Oliver’s estate/the Palace and the Old Duke’s circle/Rosalind’s circle.
It is not a cliché to play up the freedom of the forest versus the restrictions of the court; Shakespeare wrote that into the script. I don’t think I will spoil anything by saying that I have found my experiences at burns to be informative in realizing how important the Forest of Arden is to re-regulating a society that has gone wrong, i.e., Duke Frederick’s usurpation of the kingdom and the subsequent cruelty. The audience may not get a full dose of hippies, but the cast is certainly going to examine Temporary Autonomous Zones in their own lives.