Tuesday, August 29, 2006

End of Rehearsal Week One

It has been one long week for us with Cinderella. We blocked out the entire show by Sunday afternoon, and then had a couple full runs that were not without their own share of problems. On Monday, our director came in to watch the run, and then we started the process of breaking the show apart again to look at it moment by moment. He stressed that at every second of the show, we need to know exactly what the tension is and exactly where the focus should be. So our next week of rehearsals in late September will be taking the show beat by beat so we can tighten the focus and the tension in every scene.

We have also all realized just how much work this tour will be, since Monday was our first experience taking down the set we’ll be using. It’s a heavy thing, and it’s going to take some practice to get to the point where we know exactly what needs to happen technically. As company manager, it’s my goal to get the group to the point where we can raise and strike the set almost by ourselves, and we all have specific jobs and know exactly what needs to be done. Some of our performances are going to have very quick load-ins, so we need to get this process down to a science. Even though we’re not rehearsing for the next three weeks, I’m going to spend it planning out some of our trip and handling any logistical things that might come up.

And when we’re in western Massachusetts, we are going to try to take a detour to a cornfield maze in the shape of Julia Child. Some members of the company are far too excited about this plan… check it out at www.mikesmaze.com

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The first half (or so)

After two full days of rehearsals, we are just about halfway through blocking the show. Which means we've had all the fun of learning choreography based off a videotape of a previous production of this show. We also have former cast members helping us and teaching us the ropes, and their assistance has been invaluable. They can point out little tricks they learned using these puppets and props for almost a month, and they can clarify sections that seem to be fuzzy or washed out on the tape. The first day went very smoothly, learning how the Stepsisters can torture Cinderella. But on the second day after the Fairy Godmother appears, our group slowed down just a bit; the movement became much more complicated.

We've also been working hard with our puppets. The stepsister puppet is strapped to our shoulders, and one hand manipulates her head while the other hand is one of her hands. I've had to work on getting all of my sister to move independently. For instance, she should always look where she is going, so the head needs to point in a different direction than the body. Shifting the focus of the head always seems to be the hardest part, because I'm so focused on the rest of the body that I sometimes forget I have to move the head as well.

Also, for a minute or so at the end of the day, my other sister thought that she had lost her puppet. How someone can lose a five foot red puppet was beyond all of us, but we had a tense minute or two while we hunted for her. Turns out she was hiding underneath my puppet. I think she just didn't want to rehearse anymore.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Welcome to Enchanting Journeys, the online blogspot that will (attempt) to chronicle the lives and travels of a group of actors working for Enchantment Theatre Company, as we tour the East Coast with a production of Cinderella. Enchantment Theatre is a company based near Philadelphia, PA, and the majority of their work is done with magic, masks, and puppets. Cinderella is no exception. We have masks for the Prince and Cinderella, and the stepmother and stepsisters are full-body puppets that the actors wear in front of them. Our show also has hand puppets, magic tricks, a very large set pieces, and lots of other fun stuff.

But now for the introduction... My name is Nick, and I play one of the stepsisters in this production. I am also the company manager for this tour, which means that it is my responsibility to make sure we have our driving directions, housing accomodations, and all business that may come up as we travel around this winter. I will also try to update this site as much as I can while we're on the road, so I hope you will check back for more information to see what we're up to.

Break a leg, and wish us well.