It was good to be back this week. Everyone who reported on Mike and Jim's class from last week said those that two did a fabulous job, so thanks to you both for filling in. I don't have pictures from that class, so we'll jump right in on this week's report. img_0207.JPGWe'll start off with this picture of Li-At, Scott, and Dustin. They're playing a game of Touch to Speak, and in this scene they are astronauts. The basic rule is that anyone who wants to speak must first touch another player.

img_0218.JPGHere, Angela, Patrick, and Andy are also in a Touch to Speak scene, but in this case they are cattle wranglers. One of the interesting challenges you can give yourself in this scene is to find different ways to touch the other players. I particularly like the dual in this scene which allowed them to speak while standing back-to-back.

img_0224.JPGVictoria, Justin, and Mike are dog-walkers in this scene. Nothing subtle about this contact; they went right into a clinch.

This exercise also encourages a lot more physical work rather than pure dialog. And, if the scene wasn't enough encouragement, I tried to emphasize that aspect of the scene with a little side coaching ("less chatter!").

img_0225.JPGHere we've switched to Spoon River. This game is about narrative, and has very little physical interaction. I've always been fascinated by this scene structure, because it's about working together to create a gruesome, mass death. Jim, Sol, Mike, and Kathy are discussing how some scissors, a cat, and a ficus all came together to kill all four of their characters.

img_0233.JPGAnother Spoon River scene with Dustin, David, Mark, and Marika. This one involved a surf board, a church, some holy wine, and a flaming Jesus statue. This was a tough Easter celebration, and of course all four characters died a gruesome, flaming death.

img_0240.JPGNow on to the ever popular Irish Drinking Song. What I always find amazing about this exercise is how much it is dreaded by people in their first few classes. But it is the most popular piece we do. Patrick, Victoria, Ben, Sol, and Justin are serenading us, although in this shot Victoria is the one singing her verse with a vengence.

img_0243.JPGAndy is captured mid-warble as he, Karla, Marika, Kathy, and Kenna are singing their Irish Drinking Song. Since I typically direct these pieces, I don't get a chance to jot down the topics, so I don't remember what they were so enthusiastically singing about.

img_0251.JPGThe next few shots are from the night's 3-Line Drill. We don't get enough opportunity to practice with this drill, so I'm glad we got to it in this class. Here, Andy and Karla are practicing the first three lines of an open structure. I liked Karla's pose in this shot, providing a good physical reaction to Andy's line.

img_0262.JPGI liked this 3-Line Drill from Patrick and Mark because of the unusual vertical position. Getting away from two people just standing and talking makes for a much more interesting stage picture. Although for some reason, Mark started sniffing his shoes right after this shot.

img_0264.JPGSpeaking of interesting physical physical work, here are Kenna and Justin in their 3-Line Drill scene. You can almost work out what the whole scene was about from their physical positions in this shot. Their attitudes are so well portrayed. The scene had something to do with American Idol, but it's their poses and expressions that make me want to know more about whatever is going on.

That's really the point of the 3-Line Drill. We are only performing the first three lines of what should be a longer scene, but the goal is to make those first lines so interesting to the audience that they want to see more.

img_0266.JPGThis is the last picture from the evening, but it's my favorite shot. This is Kathy and Sol's 3-Line Drill. Sol just entered with a line about Kathy being pregnant, and that's what her reaction is actually about. However, their poses and the weird angle of the shot makes the scene look like some sort of warped Film Noir. I imagine Sol smoking a cigarette and Kathy having an aside to the audience about the Private Eye who entered the room. That's not the way the scene went, but it's a fun fantasy.

For the record, we had 19 people in class, and in addition to the games mentioned already, we also did a few rounds of Freeze Tag at the end of the night.