MAY QUEEN CHRONICLES: PUTTING DOWN THE SCRIPT by Barbara Biddison
So, here we go with memorizing THE MAY QUEEN. There comes a time in the rehearsal process when the director tells the cast, "OK, put down your script." Before that the actors have drilled their lines and worked at memorizing them. Then, still with script in hand, actors head for the stage and the director blocks their movement. Furniture appears, and props find their uses, and the show begins to come alive. And by this time, by some miracle, actors are supposed to have memorized their lines, and the director's voice says it's time to put down the script. Well, it's not quite that neat and simple sometimes, but that is the process. And I was privileged to sit watching the rehearsal for THE MAY QUEEN when those words were uttered by the director, and, they were followed by the director's statement that he wouldn't be giving them lines and they should just keep going as best they could. So they did just that.
This is a play with only five characters and with dialogue that goes "here/there/this way/that way" as it moves along. And I decided to "put down" my observer's script also. I wanted to know if I would catch all the bits of the story that are tossed out and that fill in the story. I did! I was, for instance, interested in how we learn about someone called "Jeff" early on and whether that knowledge stays with us when we hear Jeff's name much later in the play. I was satisfied. So, that led me to thinking about how this play is sometimes advertised as "not recommended for children." I think it's true that this is an adult story. Teens would understand it as well as mature adults would, but young kids don't have the life experience necessary to appreciate it. Teens and adults who stay with it will be rewarded with the emotional impact of how the story unfolds.
A few treats for this play. You'll see actors you've seen before in other HG shows, and you'll admire actors that are new to our stage. And you'll enjoy the theatre setup with audience on both sides. And, though you won't see him, you'll be pleased to know that a young man is running sound for the show, the same one who ran sound for the last show...and he sings too!! Seems like there's just no end to HG opportunities. .