Tuesday, October 6, 2015

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Monday, October 5th

            On Friday and Saturday, Mr Howard and Dom were at a conference in Tampa, so it was up to us (and Annie of course) to rally and I think we did a pretty great job! We spent Friday sort of ironing out the beginning scenes, in which I have a few different parts. For my first show at Berkshire, I think it’s really cool how quickly I’m picking up blocking cues. It’s also pretty cool to learn how to channel three different characters in the course of just one or two scenes.
            After a bit of review, we ran all we had done for the first four scenes. We made quite a bit of progress in blocking the show; meanwhile tech crews have been working on acquiring costumes, makeup, bios, props, and headshots. The publicity crew also worked on putting together a skit for the pep rally (see below!) to advertise our show.
            We’ve only got a month to go, but we can’t wait to see you then!
Bring your swimsuits!
            -Riley and Greer

Peter (and Ben not in the picture) doing the skit to tell the campus about the show!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Set Build #1!!!

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Saturday was the first set build, which is always a cool milestone for the play.  We’ll help Dom construct the start of the set that we’ll be using for the show. It’s a great way to get work done and involve the actors in the technical aspect of the play. We get to be in the mix, deciding the ideas for how we want it to look. So far, the beginning pieces are looking grand!!!


Rehearsals are under way

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First rehearsal we began the arduous yet greatly rewarding experience of putting on a Berkshire School theater production. We read through the whole and untouched script. Of course, we did this while eating cake because… because cake is pretty awesome. The following couple of rehearsal were spent doing some improv games and learning blocking shorthand. This is just symbols/abbreviations we write into the script that describe the actions (or blocking) an actor does in the scene.
Once the script was read and the cake was eaten, we could begin to roughly block the show. Starting with the first full week of rehearsals, we went through the first few scenes in chronological order. The main purpose of these early blocking rehearsals was just to discuss and discover the purpose of each scene and what direction we wanted to take.
Each blocking rehearsal has started with a mini read-through of the scene at hand. We stop often: ask questions, mostly answer them- which generally just results with more questions- and in the process generate a plethora of ideas. It will be a long process before a few of these ideas will be realized, but we are super excited to get things in motion.

Float On For Now,
Riley And Greer

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Meet your Bloggers

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Hi, my name is Amani Bethea and I am a four-year senior at Berkshire.  I have been a part of the Berkshire Theater community since my freshman year, and I am so excited to work on my 5th play!  I am always looking for ways to push myself and improve my acting skills, and I can always look to the theater to help me with these goals. Each of my characters and their scenes are very unique to each other and bring something I have never done before, and I can’t wait to work on each of them!
Hey! My name is Riley Bona. I am a sophomore and an avid lover of Corgis. Last year I was a member of the ensemble in Grease and have been wanting to continue the experience ever since. I personally have a fascination with ancient Greek mythology and am extraordinarily excited to work on Metamorphoses. My goal is to fully adapt into the Berkshire theater mindset this season and to really improve my acting by meeting the bar set by my fantastic peers.            

Hi! My name is Greer Gibney and I am a junior here at Berkshire. A lover of the arts, I had always been interested in the theatre at Berkshire but never had the courage...until now! I am so excited to be a part of the Metamorphoses cast and to shed some light on this process. I can’t wait to see how this play changes me and changes in general. Also, I love coconuts and cheese! Nice to meet you!

We hope you guys enjoy watching as we delve into this show! Thanks for reading!
See you in the deep end,

Amani, Riley, and Greer.


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Welcome to the Berkshire Theater Blog! This season we will be blogging about our experience working on the play MetamorphosesMetamorphoses, written by Mary Zimmerman, is play that poetically links together a series of Greek myths. There is also an unconventional addition to this play, a pool!  This pool will be an important set piece in all of the scenes, and in a lot of the scenes, actors will find themselves both in and around the pool.

Among the cast we have a crew of twelve actors, and in Metamorphoses there are over 30 characters!  Because of this, each actor is playing between five and seven characters.

Happy Swimming,

       Amani, Riley, and Greer.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Last Hurah !

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This is the final post for The Crucible! We had three incredible shows last week and have wrapped up our “mobile home” in the atrium. Thank you to the cast, crew, Mr. Howard, Dom, and Sam for all the hard work that went into this show and thanks to all that attended our performances. Sam, we will miss you greatly, thank you for all of your contributions to Berkshire Theater in the past two years! We would also like to thank our seniors for all the effort you have put forth into making this program great. See you in the fall!

- Alden, Gerry & Anna 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Tech Load In

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  We are less than week away from opening night! Today is Load-in day for the cast and crew of The Crucible. We moved the set, props and lighting for the show into the Berkshire Hall Atrium. Mr. Sayler coordinated the operation by dividing us into groups to optimize efficiency. We were all very excited to see how it all pieced together in a matter of three hours. The final countdown starts as we approach the finalization of this journey. Stay tuned for more details about the upcoming events!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I Am No Longer a Theater Rookie

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Hello, I am Alden Weiss, I am a one-year Junior at Berkshire School, and this is my first time in a theater production.

Recieving the role of Judge Danforth in The Crucible was a dream come true. Ever since I came to Berkshire last fall and saw Berkshire Theater, I was fascinated by it. In fact it all started out during the first days of school when I met many of the people involved in Theater. I was struck by their friendliness and their invigorating personalities. It seriously made me consider switching to Theater, despite already having had a fall sport. When I watched the original play Scrutiny and what the crew had crafted, I was amazed. I knew this was something I had to try out. Long story short, I ended up auditioning for the spring play, and somehow got a role. I was really happy to say the least.

Working in theater has been an incredible experience so far. Contrary to what I thought working in theater is very demanding and requires a lot of focus and discipline; more so than any of the other sports I have engaged in at Berkshire so far. There is a lot of different aspects that come into play (pun intended) when creating such a complex production like The Crucible — and in order for it to go smoothly on opening night, each one of them has to be treated with equal importance. While this can be quite challenging at times, it has also taught me to be more accountable and a better team player.

There is only 8 days left until our premiere in the Berkshire Hall Atrium. It is really cool to see the play coming together, and we are all very excited as we slowly enter the last week of the production.

-Alden Weiss

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Crucible Does Yoga

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Last Monday, the full cast of The Crucible took a day off from scene work to do some relaxing--but difficult-- yoga with Sam as the instructor. We have been working in the dance studio for the past couple of weeks and it has been a great space for us to practice in in preparation for the atrium in Berkshire Hall. We have only two more weeks until opening night! Stay tuned for more updates on tech load-ins to the atrium as we come down to the final days!
- Anna Flaherty

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Playing John Proctor

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I am Gerry Gimenez and I play John Proctor in The Crucible. This experience has brought me a new appreciation for the performing arts and what being an actor means, to a completley new level. I have experienced a wide range of emotions through living, and working with this very talented cast. I'm coming to understand the simplest meaning behind what theater is, and what it can do for people who love and have a passion for it. Berkshire Theater is open for any type of person, just as long as you want to build something truly memorable. My passion for working with dark material has made me extremely curious to discover the depth and intensity of this play.

In Act 3, my character John Proctor experiences a wild mixture of emotional stages. It has been a adventure for me to understand and manage these different layers of emotion. A very specific challenge that I have while playing Proctor is his contrasting body language to my own. One of the character exercises we did in rehersal helped me to find a center of gravity in my body. I began to see how to control and administer my own physicality through that center. This was an enlightening experience that helped me channel my energy into John Proctor’s body. All of these concepts and ideas from The Crucible generate a creative outlet that is highly applicable to every aspect of life.

Reflecting now as a senior, with three weeks left at Berkshire, I am coming to understand and appreciate the significance of learning from this present experience and applying it to my future. It's clear, that what I am learning from Berkshire Theater, will never be forgotten.

- Gerry Gimenez

Friday, April 24, 2015

Berkshire Theater goes to Salem!

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7:00 am - Cast Breakfast and Getting on the Bus
We started our day by eating breakfast as a group before we headed to Salem, MA. Everyone was very excited to learn new things about the town and the origins of this play. We hoped to get a better perspective on how people lived in the 1600’s. It was a beautiful day, 50 degrees and not one cloud in the sky, a perfect day for traveling. We left Berkshire at 7:30 to enjoy a three hour bus ride with the cast. A couple days before, everyone was assigned to research about the play to find:
-Three interesting facts about our character
-Three facts about Salem itself and the time period
-Five questions you may have through your research
         -One theory of what could explain the witch trials in Salem
I learned through my research that my character, Ruth Putnam, was actually named Ann Putnam Jr. after her mother. Arthur Miller changed her name in the play to avoid confusion with her mother. We shared our research with each other on the bus ride. I think we all had a better idea of our characters after knowing how they interacted and lived in real life.

10:00 am- Arriving in Salem
The cast arrived to Salem and headed straight to the Salem Witch Museum. When we got there, we experienced a mannequin narrative of the witch trials where our characters were identified in context . I learned that Ann Putnam lived very traditionally-no holidays, no playing, basically no fun. Tituba, a slave from Barbados, told Ann and a few other girls, like Betty Parris, made-up tales. This started to make the girls act strangely, which made people believe their behavior delivered from satanic spirits.  Eventually these girls were questioned and the trials began. Giles Corey, John Proctor, and Elizabeth Proctor were among the 19 that were accused and killed during the trials, most of them hanged. It was interesting to see our characters in The Crucible come to life. We then were guided through a timeline on different types of faiths involving witchcraft like Wicca and Pagan women.

12:00 pm- Lunch and the Witch Dungeon
We had a quick lunch and then went on our way to the “Witch Dungeon.” We saw a reenactment of Mary Warren and Elizabeth Proctor in the court. Many other characters were mentioned as a part of the play. After that, we headed down to a replica of one of the dungeons. We were told that the actual dungeon was destroyed in the 1950’s when the building it was located in was rebuilt. The dungeon was poorly lit and very cold, similar to how it would have been in the 1600’s.

2:00 pm- The Graveyard and Memorial
We entered the graveyard and got to see the tomb of John Hawthorne. There were many other people buried in this family, grouped with their family members and loved ones. Some were captains on The Mayflower. All of the stones ranged from the early 1600’s to early 1900’s. In a separate section of the graveyard, there was a memorial for all the people who were accused of witchcraft, which included Rebecca Nurse, John Proctor, Giles Corey, and Martha Corey.

3:30 pm- Looking at the Documents
We then drove to a research library where we were able to look and touch the real documents our characters were involved in from the 1600’s. It was a surreal experience to be able to hold something so old that was so important to these people. The writing was different than how we write today as it was much neater and they used different symbols to express certain things. Some of the documents included Samuel Parris’ deposition, Mary Warren’s deposition, and documents written by John Hawthorne.

In all, It was a fun and educational day to be able to get a better idea of what life was like for our characters and everyone enjoyed the company of each other and the experience we had while in Salem.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Real Talk with Jeff

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Howdy everyone! Welcome to another season of Berkshire Theater! They say that "April showers bring May flowers," this phrase applies perfectly to what's happening in Allen right now. We are currently in our first week of "The Crucible." So far, everyone has learned their lines, giving us the opportunity to explore our characters in more depth within the scene. Since, we "reap what we sow," we have to make sure that we have a solid foundation before moving forward and with all this hard work I feel very good about where we are as a cast.

Although the show is six weeks away, it is our job to make the most of this month and prepare ourselves for the flowers of May! Before we know it, we will be reenacting the Salem Witch Trials. Until next time!

-Jeff Erazo

Thursday, March 5, 2015

And the spring play is....

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Welcome to a new season of Berkshire Theater! We are proud to announce our spring play—The Crucible by Arthur Miller.

The Crucible is a fictionalized account of the Salem Witch Trials that took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. The action begins in the home of Reverend Parris, whose daughter Betty lies unconscious and appears very ill. Around midnight the night before, Parris had discovered Betty, his niece Abigail, and Tituba, his slave, dancing in the woods causing Betty to become sick. The local physician is unable to determine the cause of Betty's illness. There is talk in the village of "unnatural causes."

Reverend Hale arrives from another town to investigate the strange events in Salem. The people of Salem have summoned him as an expert in witchcraft to determine if witchcraft is behind the children's illnesses. Abigail, the ringleader of the girls, warns her friend Mercy Lewis and the Proctors' servant Mary Warren, not to reveal that they were all casting spells in the woods. But once the Massachusetts government gets involved, the girls begin to wildly accuse the others of being witches, leading to mass hysteria in the town of Salem.

This season of Berkshire Theater, we will be performing the third act of The Crucible, which takes place in court. In this scene, all of the convicted woman, as well as their husbands and citizens of Salem desperately try to debunk rumors these of witchcraft. Most of these false accusations stem from personal grievances among the residents of Salem. Stay tuned and be sure to come out May 8th and 9th to see what the verdict is!

So don’t forget to keep checking the blog for updates on The Crucible. We look forward to seeing you in the spring!

-Jeff Erazo

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Opening Night!

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Opening Night was a complete and TOTAL success! Although we had run the show the night before, it was a much different vibe performing it in front of a real audience. We were interested to see what jokes would get laughs and how the audience would react to the emotional highs and lows of the song! As we completed our long warm up (includes visualizes ourselves having an amazing run and trying to gain as much focused energy as possible), we could all feel the insane amount of excitement and nervousness in the room. We were all so excited to offer Berkshire's community a gift that we had worked so hard on and put so much effort into during the winter. This was the second night we were able to dress in full costume, so a few hours before the time of the show, we came to warmup, do hair and makeup, and eat together as a cast. The pre show is definitely incredibly important and has a huge impact on how well the actual show will play out! After the final bow was taken, we all ran backstage into the green room to celebrate our incredible success. It felt amazing to have completed a full show without stopping once, but we knew we weren't finished yet! We had two more shows to look forward to on the horizon.

-Liza Jane Branch