Friday, February 5, 2010

Jane: in the theatre

Last night I helped out at a rehearsal of Coe's spring musical, "Company." Yes, the Sondheim musical from the early '70s.

Why was I helping out with a play rehearsal? Because one scene includes a character who's taking karate doing some take-downs on her husband. The director had heard I was a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, so he asked me to come and help them with that scene.

(Anyone who knows anything about marital arts will know that there aren't really many take-downs in Karate--it, like Tae Kwon Do, is a striking martial art. But the writer of the play did not know that!)

I looked over the scene and chose a few simple takedowns that the students could use. I showed the young woman some basic martial arts stances and moves, and I demonstrated and coached them on the takedowns. It sure was a lot of fun! They were pretty brave doing all that stuff--never having done martial arts before. I'm going to have to come back and work with them a bit more on some of the moves. One of the stage managers said they needed to improve "posture." He was right. But I was pleased at how quickly they learned it.

It's fun to see rehearsals and practices--of any kind--in progress. You can see all the things that have to be considered before the group is performance-ready. Like--how to get all the actors into the right part of the stage when they need to be there, when people should stand up and sit down, and what to do with the cups. All sorts of decisions have to be made. When I wasn't coaching, I just sat and was amazed.

Company will be performed at the end of March. I'm going to go see it, of course! My name will be in the program: Martial Arts Consultant!

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