Monday, January 31, 2011

Schedule for the Week

Tuesday 2/1
5-7 Optional Rehearsal
Thursday 2/3
5-6 Dead Gaffer Special
Friday 2/4
5-? Lines Running
Saturday 2/5
9-12 Stage Changes(EVERYONE COME!!!)
12-1 Potluck Brunch
1-4 Act 1 Runthrough Cast X
Sunday 2/6
11-4 Act 1 Runthrough Cast Y(and a readthrough of most of Act 3!!!)
Note: On Sunday there will be no lunchbreak. We will be eating while reading through act 3 meaning there will be NO TIME to go get food. Please make sure to bring a lunch with you.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Words of Our Mutual Friend

Rebecca and I found this cool website that lets you put words together in cool ways. Here are the collages:
The Characters
The Participants
The Narration at the end of Act 2
Our Mutual Friend

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Marcus Stone

I don't know if you've noticed, but there are a lot of pictures of OMF characters at YSP right now. They're in your script (Act 1, scene 1, for instance). They're sitting on the ground, blown up to large sizes and framed. And Imany of them will be gracing our program at performance time.

If you're like me (which I'm sure none of you are--I'm a total geek) you probably looked at these illustrations and said, "Who made these? How were they made? Did Dickens commission them?" So, being a total geek, I went and researched some answers.

These drawings were made by a man named Marcus Stone. Marcus Stone was an engraver: he carved sketches onto wood blocks, which would then be transferred to copper plates, and finally printed in the newspapers that Dickens' novels first appeared in. Stone was a long-time friend of Dickens and his illustrator for almost a decade. (They were friends from Stone's childhood: when the artist was 12 years old, Dickens saw a sketch that Stone had done of Jo from Bleak House, and liked it so much that the novelist showed it to his publisher).

Most people from Dickens' time did not like Stone's illustrations. They preferred the silly, cartoonish style of Dickens' first illustrator, Phiz, to Stone's darker, more realistic style. However, Dickens himself preferred Stone's illustrations to Phiz's. This might be because Dickens' literary style was becoming more darker and more serious--and more like Stone's drawing style.

Personally, I like Stone's illustrations, and the darker and weirder the scene, the better. This one of Johnny's death is one of my favorites:Don't you feel like that fireplace is about to swallow Betty Higden up?
(You can see the complete set of Stone's OMF illustrations here).

One of the coolest things about Stone's illustrations is that Dickens himself helped with them. He gave Stone notes about character, clothing, and facial expression. So Stone's pictures are what DICKENS HIMSELF thought your character looked like.

Below is Stone's picture of Bradley Headstone. If I start writhing on the ground like a maniac during rehearsal, you'll know why.

Friday, January 28, 2011

This Weekend in Rehearsal.....

-A Super Awesome Questionnaire
-Pajama Day on Sunday!
-Warm-ups by Melissa
-New and Exciting Scenes

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Words, Words, Words

The first of many weekly games related to Our Mutual Friend!

Crossword Puzzle of Act 1 Characters!

P.S. for anyone in or related to Idle Conversation my mother just got me a novel written by a Shakespearean actress , director and founder of the Pasadena Shakespeare Company, Gillian Bagwell. It is 'The Darling Strumpet' and it is the story of Nell Gwynns life through poverty, prostitution, acting, and of course Charles.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Totally Tuesday

So I slipped up and forgot to post on Tuesday. Please accept this photo from the amazing Ben Rifken. So proud everyone looks like they're paying attention!!

Well, If Jenny Wren gets to be a song...

...then Lizzie Hexam gets to be a comic book character.

It turns out that if a director, sitting at a computer at night, types her character's name into Google, only the first result of the search actually manages to be about the Dickens character. Results two and three reference a character by the name of Lizzie Hexam who exists as part of a comic book series known as The Unwritten. There's even an issue with the title The Many Lives of Lizzie Hexam. So it seems she was at least reasonably important to the story in the comic books.

Of course, I haven't been able to find out if there is any connection between the Lizzie Hexam of Dickens and the Lizzie Hexam of comic books. But I doubt that the shared name is a complete coincidence. And, to use one of Boots' positive adjectives, it was astounding to discover that even in a world where, perhaps, few people have read Our Mutual Friend, the characters' names keep showing up in unlikely places, unnoticed by most who encounter them.

And I just thought that was interesting and worth sharing.

Monday, January 24, 2011

[Insert Positive Adjective Here]

Hey. Boots here.

I was trying desperately to figure out a good way to start my blog post, and then, while I was writing the weekly email, I used the word stupendous. So I suppose I can just start from there.

Positive adjectives are kind of awesome. Everyone should have at least ten or fifteen memorized for exciting occasions. And let me tell you, it is quite easy to forget some and start using the same ones over and over. Fond as I am of the word awesome, sometimes it just gets repetitive.

And so I challenge you to expand your vocabulary of positive adjectives. Splendid, marvelous, grand, superb, fabulous, magnificent, super, wicked*, cool, amazing, awesome, astounding, and (my personal favorite) tremendous! are only a few of the brilliant words out there that you can use to describe OMF. Or you know, other stuff. Hot tea, a sunny day, over 10-degree weather, the fact that you are totally memorized for the next deadline, etc...

Outstanding, huh?

*To be used like in Harry Potter. 'That's wicked!' and the like. Can also be combined with other positive adjectives as in 'wicked cool!' and 'wicked awesome!'. Combine with care. 'Wicked splendid' doesn't have much of a ring to it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Pleasingly Productive Sunday

My goodness. Today I, like many of my fellow actors spent from 8am to 4pm at YSP today.
And I didn’t go nearly as crazy as I thought I would! (though I was a little grumpy in the middle, sorry)

Here’s why:
-a breakfast meeting with 8 optimistic people, caffeinated beverages and scones
-commenting on several wonderful Shauvians
-an enthusiastic morning warm up enacting modes of transportation: kayak, ice-skate, pogo stick, bumblebee
-watching a very technically intense scene go from total chaos to nearly performance ready in 2 hours
-a person not connected with YSP (until now...) being very generous with his time and energy
-a refreshing...conversation...
-fun vocal exercises: that’s absurd!, sirens loud enough to be heard upstairs, Old McDonald had a farm and on that farm he had a sheep helicopter, zip zap zop (then slow mo!), crash light boom, and for the finale: an orchestra of siren noises
-seeing smiles still present at 4pm
-wonderful people who helped clean up after this long rehearsal! you’re my heroes!
-the privilege of going to sleep now

Jenny Wren "The Musical"
this was found by our very own Jenny Wren. She knows I love the Beatles..... So she was looking up songs for me. We came across the song "Jenny Wren" by Paul McCartney. We were like WOAH!!!!!! OMFg! Then, we looked up the story behind the song and found out that it is really is about the Jenny Wren from Our Mutual Friend. Here are the lyrics:

Like so many girls, Jenny Wren could sing
But a broken heart, took her soul away

Like the other girls, Jenny Wren took wing
She could see the world, and it's foolish ways

How, we, spend our days, casting, love aside
Loosing, site of life, day, by, day

She saw poverty, breaking all the home
Wounded warriors, took her song away


But the day will come, Jenny Wren will sing
When this broken world, mends its foolish ways

Now we, spend our days, catching, up on life
All because of you, Jenny Wren

Our Discovery of this song went something like this:
Becca: Listen to this song..... Who is singing?
Izzie: Is it the Beatles?
Izzie:Paul McCartney
Becca:Listen to the lyrics.
Izzie: nice.....
-Songs plays from the start-

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Virtual Ramble of the London of OMF

1. Southwark Bridge
2. London Bridge
3. Limehouse Hole
4. Six Jolly Fellowship Porters
5. Wilfer residence
6. The dust heaps/Boffins' Bower
7. Bradley Headstone's school
8. Jenny Wren's home
9. Podsnap residence
10. Temple Bar
11. Pubsey & Co.
12. Lammle residence
13. John and Bella's cottage

In these times of ours...

...though concerning the exact year there is no need to be precise, seven directors of dirty and disreputable appearance were sitting at Barriques as a winter evening was closing in.

It was a typical meeting. Rebecca was making a to-do list three pages long. Michael Fleischman was offering to do things. Michael Feakins was being nice. Melissa was being sane. Greer was being obnoxious. Izzie was ingesting a novel's worth of paper. Gabby was having ideas. We were talking about how awesome this production is--how unique it is--and how much we'd like to commemorate it. And then Gabby said--"Why don't we start a blog?" And we all said, why didn't we think of that before!

So we started a blog. An OMF blog.

I can hear your skeptical questions. What will this blog be about? Who's going to write it? Why should I read it? Do you guys really have time for this?

What will this blog be about? Anything and everything that your directors can think of relating to OMF: What we're doing at rehearsal, maps of London, sneak-peak make-up previews, the RSC's Nicholas Nickleby, camels, home-made cross word puzzles, pictures of people at rehearsal, lessons on British accents.

Who's going to write it? Each of your directors will blog one day a week. Rebbecca and I had an epiphany the other day: there are seven directors--and guess how many days in the week there are! A match made in heaven, right? Of course right.

Why should I read it? Because it's going to be awesome. Because your directors are good writers. Because you'll learn something that will make this production better and more fun. Because this production is special and worth extra thought and time. And because, just maybe, Greer will make brownies for those who have read her posts.

Do you guys really have time for this? Well, er, um, technically no. But, come to think of it, nor do we technically have the time to stage a 10-hour original adaptation of a Dickens novel with actors who range from age 8 to age 60.

Enough said. Let the blogging commence.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Yup, we like camels. And Dickens.