Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rehearsing in the Darden Courtyard

Beth Marshall was warned that 300 children were about to swarm the lobby to see the play, "Miss Nelson is Missing." Beth decided to move her cast outside. After several read throughs, Beth invited the actors to go "off book." There were a few hiccups, but the actors memorized their lines amazingly fast. John Connon pretended to smoke a cigarette. Steve Middleton had his loud tourist costume bundled up beside him. The three actors were playing parts in a family inside joke that they easily slipped into. Sarah Lockhard pointed shouting, "That one!" "No to small." John countered. "How about that one?" she screamed. "No too large." Steven replied. "That one!" "Yes that's just right." John responded. They were playing a game of eye spy as they drove into Orlando. Steve swore he saw the Aurora borealis but it was just the outlet malls.

After passing Holy Land, the cast began singing "Star of Wonder." While Beth was checking the progress on the other six plays the actors came up with the idea of inserting the "Star of Wonder" lyrics into "It's a Small World After All." This was a playful spark of genius. They decided to move like animatronics as they sang. "Star of wonder star of night. Star of royal beauty bright. I-4 west leading still proceeding. Guide us to the perfect light."

They were playing and having fun. By noon they had their lines down. Beth moved three metal chairs into the center of the courtyard and they performed the piece straight through. David Lee prefaced his play as, a small Christmas Play in homage to the days when Play in a Day was written to celebrate Halloween.

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