A Lusty Widow

Began with rehearsals on Act 2 of Duchess of Malfi today. I am playing The Duchess, in her expectant but secretive state in scene 2 of the act. The rehearsal was bumpy, working with so large a group (and 3 directors!) but overall we managed to develop a good sense of what Webster is intending and what is going on, along with the blocking. I must admit, The Duchess is quite fun to play, particularly in this scene. As a young Duchess (for she is still quite young) she has a feeling of entitlement, and also of defiance against those who want to restrain her or fit her into a mould. More rehearsals Tuesday, then presentation.

Then our first dramaturgy class with Paul Sirett. Such fun! We began with looking at the function of dramaturgs as they relate to new plays. We read several new short plays as "readers" for a literary department of a company, then debated the merits of each as something potential for our fictional company to pursue and potentially produce. It was interesting to hear what people took from the various plays, and the debate over some got fairly intense. Mountain of homework for this class (we only have 4 total, so have to jam it in!) including writing an External Report to the Literary Department on one of the plays.

As well, I have taken on a project (along with two classmates) to direct a Medieval Latin play for King's College with their MA students. The production takes place in April 2012.

image: Helen Mirren as The Duchess of Malfi (1981)