Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Good Rehearsal

Rather recently, one of the actors in the show I'm currently working had to quit the main cast.  The actor had some rather serious and difficult issues to address and began to feel like doing the show would just not be in their best interest.

Today (with at the urging of the actor), we informed the rest of the cast what was going on and why  this actor was quitting the show.  They'd still be around occasionally, whenever they could manage, but they would be gone more than they would be present.  The reaction of the cast was fairly amazing.  They sat there, completely silent (a group of middle schoolers and high schoolers is rarely completely silent), just taking in what their close friend was going through.  The few actors who had known about the situation beforehand had not told anyone else out of respect and when we told the whole cast you could just tell that they were honored to be trusted with the sensitive and intimate information.

The rest of the rehearsal was subdued.  There were laughs and a lot of good work put in, but there were obvious undertones oh sadness.  We were learning exclusively ballads today, which fit the mood of everyone in the room perfectly.  Towards the end of rehearsals, we reviewed songs we had learned previously, and the songs the cast asked to reviewed stuck with the theme of rehearsals.  The last song of the day we ran had been the actor who quit's song.  The replacement did a fantastic job and rehearsals ended on a really nice note.

Afterwards, the directing and stage management team hung around and talked to the actors more in depth about the situation.  There were some tears and a great deal of hugging going on within the cast.

 But what most astounded me about today's rehearsal was the incredible feeling of support and empathy the rest of the cast felt for their friend.  Teenagers can be harsh and hard to deal with sometimes, but they can also be overwhelmingly supportive.

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