In Iceland: Day Nine–Rehearsing at the Freezer, During an Actual Storm

(This post is by Kristin Kury, BMC class of 2016.)

What do you do when trapped in a West Iceland hostel in the middle of nowhere during a windstorm? Rehearse, of course! After a groggy morning, we got to work on Act Three, during which the characters of Lear face a storm of their very own.

Rehearsing in the black box at The Freezer 1
Rehearsing in the black box at The Freezer
Rehearsing in the black box at The Freezer 2
Rehearsing in the black box at The Freezer.

Taking advantage of the various spaces in our hostel, we broke into small groups to tackle the individual scenes. We got a lot of discussion done, and then started to put the scenes on their feet. Some brave few even ventured outside–talk about method acting!

Rehearsing the storm in the storm
Kent, Lear, and the Fool (Katie, Catharine, and Roz) rehearsing the storm…in an actual storm. This photo gives no real sense of the brutality of the wind they were dealing with!

After a full day of rehearsal and a hearty pasta dinner, we moved into the hostel’s black box theater, turned off the lights, lit some candles, and ran the storm scenes.

Rehearsing by candlelight 2
Rehearsing by candlelight at The Freezer, while a storm raged outside.

As Mark said, this was a unique opportunity, since we’d probably never get an opportunity to rehearse King Lear by candlelight in the middle of a genuine Icelandic storm again. Without being too on the nose, I think we saw the scene in a new light. In the dark, stakes were heightened, faces were creepier, and everything was just a little uneasy.

In Iceland: Day Three, Viðey Island

 (This post is by Kristin Kury, BMC class of 2016. All photos in this post are Kristin’s as well.)

Today we had a free morning, so a few of us ventured to the Kolaportið Flea Market, which is only open on weekends. Like many flea markets, it was an eclectic mix of things–vintage books, postcards, clothing, jewelry, and of course, touristy crap.

Icelandic Kolaportid Flea Market from KristinMy personal favorite find was the Icelandic romance novels–I guess some things are universal!

Icelandic romance novels from KristinOn our way back to the hostel, we stumbled upon the famous Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur hot dog stand. Amelia and I each had one with everything. They were quite tasty, and for less than four US dollars, you could certainly find a worse lunch.

Icelandic Kristin and Amelia with hotdogs in Reykjavik
Kristin and Amelia sample the local, very famous, hotdogs.

At 12:30, we met up with the rest of our compatriots and as a group headed toward Reykjavik’s main bus station–our first experience on public transportation! With City Passes firmly in hand, we rode the bus to a ferry, which took us to our final destination–Viðey Island.

Icelandic on the way to Videy Island
Boarding the ferry, looking toward Viðey Island.
Icelandic on Videy Island
Snow and desolation, just across the water from Reykjavik

Viðey is the largest island in Reykjavik bay, and is a lovely little place featuring sculptures, hiking trails, and a coffee shop that serves excellent waffles. We used our time on the island to spend time alone with our God Spy characters. For those of us playing characters who get caught in the storm, we were encouraged to spend time in that character’s shoes as well.

Icelandic Waffled on Videy Island
But, in true Icelandic fashion, nothing is ever so desolate that they can’t serve outstanding coffee and snacks there.

After a well earned hot chocolate and waffle break, we got into pairs and made some work together, playing with texts and our new environment. During this time, we were treated to hail, winds, and, delightfully, a rainbow. You know what they say about Icelandic weather–if you don’t like it, wait 15 minutes and it’s sure to change.

Icelandic Rainbow on Videy Island

A Report From Rehearsal: Exploring the Physicality of the Characters (Post Two)

(This post is by Kristin Kury, BMC class of 2016.)

“A lot was done, there’s more to do. Let’s go!”
-My iambic pentameter check in that is applicable to our rehearsal process

For the last hour of our rehearsal we got to play in the Teaching Theater and investigate where our God Spies and our Shakespeare characters live in our bodies. Given nothing but an eclectic soundtrack, a rack full of trench coats, and the freedom to move throughout the black box, we were let loose.

We were told to stay initially as independent God Spies, but we eventually began to interact with one another. This was particularly interesting because we had no way of knowing if someone else was their God Spy or their Shakespeare character. However, in our post-activity discussion many people seemed to be able to tell the difference.

Personally, what I enjoyed most about this activity was the sense of play. It wasn’t about performing, or figuring out what’s “right”–it was just exploration. Nothing mattered, and yet everything could be a great new discovery.

A Report from Rehearsal: The Giant Table

(This post is by Kristin Kury, BMC class of 2016)

Today in rehearsal we had our first taste of playing in the space–a luxury to have so early in the rehearsal process.

We are seated around what is probably the largest dinner table any of us have ever eaten at. It is grand, it is epic, it is intimidating. Every shift, glance, seat choice (or assignment) feels like it could be a political move. Be careful which dinner fork you use….

First time around the table
First time around a mock-up of the giant table-stage. Photo credit to Kristin Kury.

We played around with the scale of this table, noting the effects of what happens when one, two, or many bodies stand on top of the table itself (hint: it becomes a lot like a stage!). We created tableaus by placing our bodies (or pieces of metal) into the space, one person at a time. How can you best build an image off of what someone else laid out before you? How does story begin to form itself? What happens when someone breaks the rules?