As spring break comes to an end the current MFA cohort’s thoughts turn back to their studies as they become acutely aware that Fleatown is now just 7 weeks away. Having the last week off has given us time to reflect on what we have so far as well as give us time to dream up more lazzi to bring life into our show.
So far, with the help of the director/mastermind Michele Bottini, we each have a character. To get to this point we had to do quite a bit of mask work to find our “natural” mask. We’ve spent hours going over the history, physicality, voice and personality of the traditional stock characters which included; Pantalone, Dottore, Gli Innamorati (1st and 2nd lovers), Smeraldina (or Colombina), Capitano, Arlecchino, and Zanni. Between building our own mask and learning different techniques to speaking in masks with the help of Torbjörn Alström to putting on each of the different character masks and taking on that character under the direction of Michele we’ve found ourselves immersed in mask work during the 1st part of the 2nd semester.
After we became more familiar with the characters the MFA’s sat down and talked about what we thought our individual mask is (the character that others easily see in us or the mask we felt the most comfortable in) as well as voicing the character that we wish to play. We also took time to hear feedback from other members of the cohort about which mask they see in their colleagues.
It wasn’t until a week or so later when Michele returned saying he had listened to what the ensemble and the individuals had said and he presented us with our cast list. However, I won’t spoil it just yet, but know that we have a prophetic grandmother, breached characters, cross-dressing and the right mix for a fun show!
Now that we each have a better idea for who we will be playing, our relationships to other characters and the story as we know it so far our next task is to keep writing lazzi to help further our individual story as well as the story of the show with only 7 weeks until showtime left to develop our piece it’s not quite crunch time but we are getting there!