Friday Night

Friday Night Blog

Hi bloggers!!
            As you guys know this weekend we opened Metamorphoses!  Opening night was a good experience for us to feel how the play would read in front of an audience.  We encountered moments of highs and lows.  And for Friday's show we took these moments and rehearsed them and made them even better.  A typical Berkshire Theater Friday show has the biggest audience and usually consists of 80% students and 20% adults.   Of course we wanted to put on the best show possible for our peers and teachers, but we faced some obstacles that proved to be harder to overcome than we thought.  For this show, we do not have the luxury of using microphones so projection and diction were very necessary in delivering our lines.  Due to nerves and the amount of people in the audience, as a cast we struggled to reach the audience with our volume.  All of the content of the play itself is very compelling, but it was up to us to draw the audience's attention to that very important content, and to do that we needed to be louder.  We still had a great show full of funny, happy, and sad moments, but our performance was slightly hindered by our lack of volume. Overall the performance went well. However, We are very excited to step up our game tomorrow!!!!

Thanks for floating with us,


Thursday Night: Opening Night!!!


Tonight was a completely surreal experience for the cast. After two months of hard work on blocking, understanding our characters, memorizing lines, we’ve been preparing to share a kick-butt show with parents and students alike. Part of me was nervous that we might not have been able to pull it off, and part of me was excited that the show we had delved into was becoming a reality. In warm ups that night, Mr Howard pumped us up completely, while helping us focus on the task at hand. There was a fire inside of us; we were ready to jump in! The opening entrances gave us absolute jitters, for we were unsure of how the audience would respond to everything, but by the time we reached the final scene, there was a sense of joy and excitement among us. We had gotten laughs, tears, we even moved couples to hold hands and acknowledge the love that they had and the love that we shared. By the time we got offstage, it took all the robo in our bodies to not flip with joy before we got to the green room. But soon we were jumping, laughing, smiling and screeching with pride! Opening night had been an absolute success!

Swimming along happily,
     Sunday we spent the day using lighting and adding it to the scenes. It was really great to experience both Lights and sound. (Heads up, Mr Howard did a great job. Its all really intricate thus, amazing)
       Yesterday was Tech-Dress for Metamorphoses. After a regular rehearsal, we ate dinner and prepared for the runthrough. In Tech-Dress we use a many costumes, lights, sounds, etc. that we can. The main purpose of this is to fix the problems that arise from adding more complexities to the show. It was a long night, but we finished strong and we were content with our progress. 
        As I said, much of Tech-Dress is adding costumes to the show. I don’t even know where to begin with the costumes of Metamorphoses. The play is a collection of somewhat unrelated scenes. Because of this, each actor has several roles. Each actor also has several costumes. The entire cast throughout the show adds up to around 120-140 costumes, not sure by now, and many quick changes (even one underwater).

Oh yeah, and the whole pool thing. With a lot of hard work put in by all of us, especially our assistant director Annie, costumes may just work out.
Between Mr. Howards amazing job on the complex lighting and sound, Doms work on the set, and Annie's work on costumes We were ready to try a run through for tonight. 
        Today is Dress Rehearsal, which we like to treat as though we were opening. Tomorrow is opening night, at 730!! We hope to see you there!
Smooth sailing,


Hi Bloggers!

Today is the beginning of a grand adventure here on the set of Metamorphoses.  Today is is Load-in day, which marks the first day of Tech Week.  From 3:20 pm to 5:30 pm we held a regular Friday rehearsal.  We finished blocking the Phaeton & Apollo and Eros & Psyche scenes.  We decided to take the Phaeton & Apollo scene in a new direction; Phaeton becomes so fed up with his therapist’s ramble that he acts on his irritation.  During the Eros & Psyche scene we continued on to the end of the scene and focused on the tender and hopeful relationship between the two characters.
 After dinner, we gathered and began the formal load-in. Throughout load-in, the cast and crew divide amongst our tech crews and execute our duties on the technical side of the show.  We clean and clear out the work space, place and spike all of the props, label and organize all of the costumes, hang all of our publicity posters, and focus on all final unfinished details of the play.  As this is a production with many challenging aspects on both the acting and technical side, we need to make sure that we have everything in place leading up to show time.

Looking forward to hanging out on the deck,
Amani B.

Ana Tolvo helping to create costumes

Water Rehearsals and Shipwreck Scene

Wednesday October 28, 2015
            During our second day of water rehearsal, we moved the shipwreck scene, one of the most involved with the water, into the water and began finalizing it. First, we ran through the original blocking that was made without the pool.  Then we resumed in the pool.  Our sailors set off to sea, wondering if they’d make it back from their voyage. Our trusted captain, Mr. Howard, set the sails in the right direction. Our ship was skimming on top of the water, making great pace. We learned how to properly row, after years of experience. We had learned the way of the rower. Until we reached the serious seas, filling with white capped waves and rough currents. It was our time to go down, and the dreadful sinking of the ship began.
This involved a great deal of splashing, drowning, bailing, and weeping.  Being that this was rehearsal, we repeated this scene, splashing and all, over and over again until we carried out all of the nuances to satisfaction.

Safe diving,


  On monday the pool was filled and we began our first water rehearsal. Focusing on the shipwreck scene, we spent much of the rehearsal adapting to the new element of the set, as well as tweak the scene itself. 
We had bathing suits and towels at the ready backstage because, well, we got a little wet. On top of their usual work, the stage managers were busy mopping up the water that the rest of us soaked up from the pool. It was, as Narrator 2 puts it, “an enormous green catastrophe”. Overall we had a very productive day, like most. This first water rehearsal marked the beginning of a new phase of work for the show. With only a week until dress rehearsal, finally getting into the water was very helpful.
Just keep swimming,

Set Build 10/24

Saturday we had our final set build! We got to work on the backdrop, the pool, and the deck for around the pool.
We also got to add lights to the inside of the pool. It is all really starting to feel real and come together now that there is an actual pool on stage. Soon Dom will be able to fill it with water and get the filter going so we can start water rehearsals!! We all worked really hard today between drilling, cutting wood, and assembling the set. It was a long but rewarding day. The set builds help us work together as a team, contribute to the show, and also is a way to learn new things!!

Throwback blog post from the beginning of blocking!

Hi everyone!! On Monday we began the next step in our process on the show, which is detailed blocking. We worked and put a lot of great ideas together and produced a substantial rough draft of a scene.  After we finished with all of the hard work we had done, we were lucky enough to loosen up with a fun, cheerful dance party. This playful activity was recorded and will be featured in a very cool dance number with the dance program here at Berkshire. 

We showed off our awesome dance moves to the song September while the dance teacher, Mrs. Keefer, captured the theater crew in our prime.  Can’t wait to see how we look up on the big screen!
Don’t run, it’s slippery!
Amani B.

Rehearsals Continue

Now that we are getting deep into the blocking of the show, it has become much of what we do during rehearsals. Blocking is just planning out where, when, and what actors are doing at every moment on stage. For most of the common movements we use blocking shorthand, and for the rest we just write out the action in our scripts. For example, “E6 • XUL (table) • sit” would mean Enter 6 (we’ve labelled each entrance with a number), cross the stage to the Upper Left area (more specifically to the table located there) and sit down.

Some photos of the process:

(Annie's diagrams that make sense... in the moment)

Watch for sharks,

            On their return trip from Tamps, As Greer and Riley previously mentioned, Mr. Howard and Dom got straight back to work.  While Dom continued to work on the logistics of the set, Mr. Howard introduced a new activity he learned while at the conference.  This activity showed us how small changes in various aspects of a scene are very important.  We focused on three main aspects: connection, level, and focus.  To begin the activity, we walked weave-like across the stage in an attempt to to fill the space.  After getting this into our bodies, Mr. Howard introduced the next step of the activity.  We would continue to walk around the stage until Mr. Howard would call “spotlight”.  At this moment, each actor would find the nearest of five spotlights, and create a pose with the other members in that spotlight incorporating focus, level, and connection.  We then focused on one of the five poses, and discussed which small details had a huge effect on the scene.  We repeated this activity for approx. a half an hour.  After learning about the importance of level, focus, and connection, we applied them in rehearsal as we worked on new scenes.  Personally, this really helped me understand my characters and my relationships with characters that I am close with in all of my scenes. Thanks for reading.

Dreaming of the deep end,

Rehersals continue

        Today we focused on the Eurydice and Orpheus scene. We spent a lot of time giving each ensemble character a level, focus, and connect so that the whole stage picture could become one scene, rather than only the leads of the scene having specific blocking. A lot of what we try to focus on is making every actor on stage seem equally engaged even when they have no lines. Meanwhile, actors have been working at learning lines. Line run is not not too far and, now that we are getting closer to the show, every moment counts.
The water’s fine,

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!

Set Build #1!!!

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

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

Meet your Bloggers

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.