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New Magic We Make

Updates from NYC Rehearsal of "Romeo and Juliet"

Very exciting days in rehearsal! After a run-through two weeks into rehearsals (this is very unusual!!), we have spent the third week of rehearsal adding the fights with fight choreographer Lisa Kopitsky (fights include a sword fight, throat punch, hair drag, shove, and neck snap—so lots to do!), adding more music and songs, and adding choreography ... (and despite how gruesome the fights might sound ... we all still find ourselves sighing during the love scenes!)

Stew and Heidi (our composers) were with us for two days not only for a very fun and laid-back press junket, but to sort underscoring and rehearse the live band numbers. We all got to enjoy Stew writing two songs on the spot for the company that are truly beautiful. David Neumann also joined us for choreography this week, working the masque party where R and J meet, as well as the mourning during a dirge over juliet's body and a few other moments.

David and I have been friends and colleagues for more than 20 years, weaving dance and theater and performance in various ways.  During the run-through I provided Stew with a script marked all over with where I wanted music, where additional songs—all clearly mapped out in the script with a wealth of tape flags and highlighter.  

With David, I just gave him a script unmarked, knowing he would see for himself where he wanted to go in and detail and lend form to moments we could lift out with their bodies.  It's a very nice collaboration, those rehearsals.  

We watch the scene, then David and I both go up to work with different actors in different ways at the same time, then we sit back down and they run it again. And we get surprised by the new magic we made as a team!

Stew also brought in the first draft of his scene for the dinner party! Very exciting. He's done some exciting framing, we have some great laughs, and in a funny way he's begun to frame the event the way Shakespeare himself often starts—a scene between two men on a philosophical point.  

In this case, the wealthy architect (to become Capulet) and the successful but less financially real poet (to become Romeo) taking a walk on the new deck. He also has colloquial language and invented words in the scene, as we know our author was so dedicated to.  It's fun and thought provoking and a surprise all at once. Will be a nice and unexpected treat for our audience right at the top! 

See you in the park!

xx Joanna

Editor's note: on this year's performances of Shakespeare on the Sound in Greenwich and Rowayton.

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