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Winter Edition
Volume 99, Number 3

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Actors Rob Holland '09 and Jonathan Landis '08
Elena Yamamoto '09

At the show's opening, a delayed train causes contemporary characters to find common ground.

29 January, 2008: Day 11

This morning Elaine Henderson, our music director, and I split rehearsal. The cast and I work on choreography for an hour, then Elaine works with them to coordinate singing techniques with the choreography for an hour. She helps them control breathing patterns and direct the sound so the projection is just as clear as if they were singing in a stationary position. It’s quite a skill, I imagine. Some vocal background would help me choreograph these dances. The truth is, I don’t understand half of the vocal goings-on. Breathing hindrances are furthest from my mind. I wish I had knowledge enough to choreograph for singers. Thus far, we’ve just crossed our fingers.

Last night’s on-stage rehearsal went smoother than other nights.  Actually, every night shows dramatic improvements. I’m amazed at the refining process actors engage in on stage; it parallels the writer’s editing process for honing work. In the beginning, so much creativity, but every artist must discipline himself in the tedious work of cutting, shedding, refining. Persist until the finished product yields everything and just enough. It’s not exactly fun, but it’s necessary. 

Admittedly, I’m growing concerned that the cast won’t have adequate time to practice in their costumes. Steph and April have rehearsed in heels for about a week, but the others have only danced in sneakers. Maybe they’re accustomed to it. As a dancer, I grow nervous if I perform in anything I haven’t donned in rehearsal. In fact, if I can help it, I prefer learning dance routines in the performance shoes. Maybe they’re better-adjusted than I give them credit for. 

Recent changes: Bryant will accompany Cara’s and Emily’s dancing with two sections of beat boxing. Somehow we must orchestrate his hooking up to the amplifier, but, once we get that down, it’ll sound and look amazing. How does one learn to beat box?  That’s what I’d like to know. Boys always seem better at it. Perhaps they tend more toward sound effects.

Also, Jordan met with Sherri last night to learn his back-tuck / aerial / flip / something-or-other. They nixed learning a back flip in one week, but the aerial seems plausible. They’ll practice again on Thursday. 

In other news, I think this musical is exponentially increasing my Bible memorization. Most of the script and songs come directly from scripture (mainly the book of Matthew and some of Luke). I certainly would’ve favored this to Sunday School Bible drills. (Man, I dreaded those.) Today, “Save the People” plays on repeat in my head. Solid theology in this musical.

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