Tonight I had the chance to see a run through of "The Foreigner." The first hour of the night was more practicing moments to moments, so Director Todd Denning could give his last minute notes to the cast before they began the run through. A run through is exactly what it sounds like. The cast performed the play the whole way through, without any stop and go.
This also means that I was not the only guest at rehearsal tonight. From what I understand, tonight was the first run through. The cast's dialect coach was present to make sure accents were up to par. The costume designer sat in, as well. Other members of the cast, known as "The Townspeople," were present for their scenes tonight. Someone else was filming the practice and although she told me what her job was, at this moment I cannot remember what it was. That might be because I was intimidated by her far-superior camera equipment.
This was my first of, what I anticipate to be, many viewings of "The Foreigner." And I'm already a big fan of this show. What has hooked me to this show is the amount of physical and subtle humor that is ingrained within it. My favorite scene in the show is when the character of Ellard begins to teach Charlie, who has the lodge convinced he cannot speak English, a couple of words in English. First of all, the relationship between those characters is my favorite in the show. I find it absolutely heartwarming that Ellard, often referred to as dim-witted by everyone else in the lodge, and Charlie, who is painfully shy, develop a friendship with one another. The first time Ellard teaches Charlie how to speak English they are eating breakfast together, so Ellard uses breakfast items as references. During the middle of their lesson, two other characters enter and they become the focus of the scene. I kept watching the other two, as Ellard silently teaches Charlie what to do when he has a hot piece of food in his mouth. I'm sure this was ad-libbed, but it may have been my favorite moment of the play, so I hope to see it again! (hint hint, guys).
This rehearsal ended my week of observations. For the past two nights, I've been retaining fly-on-the-wall status. I haven't had too much interaction with the cast yet. Mainly, I have been hanging out in the back row of the theatre learning the story of the play and watching interactions between the cast and crew (let's be real: I've been eavesdropping like no other). From what it looks like, the remaining rehearsals will run fairly similarly to tonight's rehearsal. Which means, I am not quite sure how much off-stage interacting between the cast will happen next week.
To quote Abed Nadir from NBC's "Community," "Some flies are too awesome to stay on the wall." This will be my mantra for the remainder of my time with the cast. Honestly, I don't know if this quote is relevant. I just really like Abed. But I do aim to use this week to get to know the cast better. I began by creepily tracking down the cast members I haven't met on Facebook and Twitter. More importantly, this week will most likely mark the beginning of my interview sessions with the cast. My biggest concern with this part of the process is finding a place to conduct the interviews. That's a surprisingly hard task to accomplish.
Speaking of hard tasks, I decided to spend the remainder of my night editing in the basement of Johnston Hall. Because technology likes to taunt me sometimes, I can never successfully transfer my video clips from my computer to a computer in Johnston on my own. The kind people of Johnston's technology center, The Wakerly, often help me out (Have I mentioned they're my new best friends?). I bought an energy drink for the first time in my life and rented a scary movie to keep me awake, as I knew this would be a long process. I can now report that I am immune to the effects of energy drinks, "Paranormal Activity 3" isn't really that scary and I have now discovered a (rather long) way to transfer my clips.
Progress, you guys. Expect to hear a lot from me next week as I will be with the cast of "The Foreigner" multiple times and spending time with the Fugees and the Naturals, as well.