Trying to recall what happened to September? “The Trials of Robin Hood” is rushing at us faster than an arrow flung from his taut bow. With Tropical Storm Isaac throwing our schedule off, everything is compressed. So much to do yet. For example, there are eight separate battle scenes between the Merry(wo)men and the Sheriff’s men. It’s been a very long time (Othello, 1978, Coconut Grove Playhouse) since I learned the craft of the fight scene from B.H. Barry. I hadn’t realized just how much I remembered until I was staging the duels in “The Fantasticks!” Rule #1: It’s not a movie. Everything is happening all at once. Rule: #2: Don’t let anyone get injured. Chaos can be entertaining if there are no permanent injuries.
We have two classes of soldiers. “Big soldiers” (the three Sheriff’s henchmen,) and nine “Little Soldiers” (Prince John’s troops.) The “Little Soldiers” range in age from 9 to 13. Most of my participants have never done anything like this before, so my work is “hacked” out, so to write.
Last Saturday, “Soldier rehearsal” was spent drilling (Hupping!) the “Little Soldiers.” You would have thought by the age of 9 – 13 they would have figured out their right foot from their left foot. You would be wrong. Ah, the things you learn in the theater. And the fun, well, that is second to none. This Saturday the “Little Soldiers” will take up sword and shield for the first time. Pray for us! LOL