From Kyle

Our Thursday in London

This is our fifth day in London and the cast of “The Tempest” had a full day of exploring portraits, places, and ourselves.

– This morning, we traveled to the National Portrait Gallery, where we saw portraits of contemporary actors (Steve Coogan, Russell Brand, Kate Winslet, Simon Pegg, Judi Dench), leaders (Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria), playwrights (William Shakespeare), explorers (Sir Frances Drake, Walter Raleigh), and even the first actresses of London (Dorothy Jordan, Nell Gwyn). But there was so much to see that none of us had time to really look at all of them! Something tells me that some of us are going back to look at the rest of the portraits.

– This afternoon, we worked on how to achieve voice and movement for the actor. We were first given us great ways to stretch and soothe our bodies – it actually helped it me so much that I want to work on them every morning. Then, we worked on how to better physicalize our text by doing a line exercise, which gives us the freedom to express our emotions based on what word(s) were given by our teacher, Steve. These “words” included worried, hopeful, and startled realization. The line exercise helps me understand my character (as Ferdinand). “Why is this mood important?” “What is my character’s objective from the sentence I’m reading?”, and “Is one mood better than other, or do both work?” were some of questions that were flowing in my mind.

– This night, we visited the newly released Diorama Theatre and watched their version of “Twelfth Night”. The small audience and open/found space was not exactly the stage I was expecting, I enjoyed the physicality of the play and loved some of the male actors performing their roles (such as Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Feste).

As a result, today was a fantastic day to explore some new experiences that we hadn’t seen or done before. And soon, we will be going to one the famous theatres to explore our eyes and roles…in the Globe Theatre.

Friday at The Globe

Well, this is the sixth day of Bradley University’s time in London – and boy did we have an absolutely fantastic experience!

Today, we walked to the GLOBE THEATRE!

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After learning a long history of the Globe Theatre, the bear-bating stadium, the Hope Theatre, and the Rose Theatre, we were taught by some of the great theatre instructors. In one of the Globe center’s rooms, our first instructor used movement to help energize, take control of our bodies, coordinated similar movements with & without fellow cast members, and explore our senses as we better understood how to utilize these newly learned exercises for our roles in “The Tempest” and Theatre in general

One of these exercises included the four reflexes: the Spring reflex (Ex: Horse), the Inspired reflex, breathing cross-pattern (it helps with reading skills), and the startled pattern (which helps with fear or stage fright). Another exercise was to follow (and then try ourselves) on one of her ways of stretching, which goes in the order of earth, water, fire, and air. (Another included following the pattern of how an archer shoots an arrow.) The last exercise had four different ways of seeing the world and how it affects the character: these four were Sovereign, Magician, Warrior, and Lover – we became…emotionally bonded, so to speak. Our first instructor was so energetic, humorous, and caring that we all loved and thanked her for this blessed opportunity to be taught by her.

Our second instructor, Yolanda Vazquez, was as fantastic as our first instructor. Yolanda is an actress who has been involved in eleven different productions in the Globe and some films and TV shows as well. We were able to play some of her games and exercise (based on movement) and rehearse our blocking for “The Tempest” on the STAGE of the Globe Theatre!!! These movement exercises such as not breaking “The Plate”, “I’m Going To Stand Here”, and connecting our movements and texts towards the audiences to see, were also all great tools for giving an entirely new perspective on theatre and “The Tempest”. And even though today was literally the first day the cast was able to use a stage for this production, we strived to go farther than we originally thought. We are still growing as better theatre performers every day.

And all of this has happened today. Tomorrow, we will be continuing and finishing our wonderful experiences on our second day at the Globe Theatre!

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