Rehearsal Notes


ENTRY 3 — March 24, 2011 run — by Jeff & Jules
Please read and think about BEFORE the run on Saturday.
(Not necessarily in chronological order)

Act 1

  • Julian , Pg. 5—maybe hold out/gesture to Sgt. Hing’s costume when you say his name esp. if you’re just going to hold it in your hand. Remember you can start talking even if you’ve not got things on just yet.
    • Julian, Strong choices physically and vocally.  You were answering an active question and we need that kind of energy from you at the beginning. I like how you initially show us how how he was “sitting” behind the desk.  But be sure when you come forward you are on TOP of the desk not hidden beneath it
  • Ashley, DICTION on first Rebekah. You get to going so fast I can’t understand you. Choose key words and make sure the audience understands what you are saying.
    • Ashley Pg. 6 –actually hold you arms wide as if you’re noticing the blue backdrop behind you or in front of you.
  • FULL COMPANY ( in reference to Ashley’s note above) Remember you activate the setting as well as the props and costumes.
  • Julian, Nice doing above pg. 8 with “mountains” reference.
  • Summer Pg. 6 – the-a-ter DICTION!
  • SUMMER and ASHLEY Use breath to separate thoughts. You both generally go too fast and we lose articulation of your thought.
  • Naomi- Eileen Engen’s looking pretty young and spry. Maybe a bit of osteoporosis in your posture?
  • Ben.  When Doc does those double backs, settling in his mind how he wants to say something, those can be quicker changes. The action is working out the wording.
    • Ben a bit late to arrive as Doc for first lines? Leave earlier if you need to.
  • Jacob—maybe a bit of “fYI” tone to the audience for “he’s not really a doctor”
  • Julian – don’t forget  audience near the stairs (pg. 9) when the Lady reporter is looking around
  • Ben watch hands in front of your mouth
    • Ben lost “cars and diapers”
  • Julian stronger on “it’s a good place to live” pg 6.
  • Andy set aside “after Matthew”
  • Ben pick up cue after Andy Paris in journal entries.
  • Spencer “no one works alone” turn off  to your right to open up to both sides of the audience.
  • Ashley warn Tectonic about your students. Even though you make it clear you trust and respect your students. Good job with work you’ve done on Rebecca

FULL COMPANY Those of you onstage when Jedadiah is making his assessment (pg 9) Do you agree? Disagree?

  • Andy “journal entries” pick up cue from the moment that you break from the quartet around the chair. Even before you sit down.
  • Ashley – is that “kick me in the stomach” moment said at the party you’re hosting for the TTP?
  • Ben. Let’s try sitting having you sin in  Sgt. Hing’s chair to look up at Rebecca when she’s talking?

FULL COMPANY Nice tightness when we shift from Rebecca to Jedadiah. Can we have that in the Journal Entries moment?

  • Ben – Stephen’s resting posture is very similar to Doc’s. Maybe more learning back instead of forward? Experiment with clarify what makes Stephen different physically and vocally. You’ve done such a good job on Matt and Doc, we are losing Stephen.
  • Andy keep Jedediah’s internal tempo rhythm moving with energy and articulation in this second speech. It is feeling too laconic.
    • Andy let excitement of Angels story and sharing with NY guys keep a vocal energy and tempo under it
    • Andy – FYI, Jules’ Laramie source actually says that Jedadiah’s parents DID come to see him in that high school competition. Does it give you something interesting to play if he’s perhaps exaggerating his blackballing by his family to try and impress (perhaps) this group of queer theater folks (who might be his path to meeting Tony Kushner)?

TECTONIC MEMBERS journal entry introductions  stronger choice when you say your name and make it clear you are introducing the tectonic character you are playing. Possibly a physical choice that indicates the transformation.

FULL COMPANY People up on the platform remember those down on the first two rows in the audience.



  • Ashley/Waitress Debbie Reynolds is still not working let’s talk
    • Ashley/Waitress walk over near Leigh to “take her order” as Moises is talking about the steak.
  • Spencer/Moises, take that chicken fried steak comment totally to the audience (an aside).
  • Julian/Greg stranger discover in “buffalo” line
  • Kimmi/Barbara Pitts make a stronger choice by setting aside the line “ hate is not a Laramie value.”
  • Julian/Greg, in the Marge & Alison scene I think you want to keep your fingers off the “speaker” area on that hand recorder.
  • Naomi/Alison stronger start to marge and Alison.
  • Afftene/Marge lets try taking at least some of your discussion over your shoulder to the audience, breaking the convention of talking just to Greg and Alison. It seems like it might set up a convention we can see again when Ben/Matt G. is talking to Barbara Pitts (pg. 29)
  • Afftene — Minnie song…didn’t believe laughter after it
    • Afftene — Marge good on “live and let live”
  • Julian “bring around to Laramie” is an added idea
  • Afftene/Marge Let’s try you actually getting up to leave on a STRONG “there are some parts I won’t tell you?” Will help to strengthen the ending of the scene.
  • Kimi/Trish Steiger and Ben/Doc separate spatially more when you are on the platform (pg. 18). Each of you have a full third of those upper stage.
    • Kimmi start Trish with more vocal support
  • Ben/Doc “How are you paying?” Make sure that’s clearly articulated Ben. That’s your punch line.
    • Ben better with doc and hands in front of your mouth…but watch it …. Keep body up and hands can work off back of chair
  • Kimmi talk to sister romaine, is a new idea and she is magically, theatrically discovered right in front of you.
  • Summer support first romaine…don’t let nostalgia make you vocally soft……new idea on political affairs CNN etc.
  • Nice moment between Summer/Romaine and Jacob replaying the Matthew stare.
  • Kimi/Trish and Ben/Doc on the platform after you’re part of the “Matthew” Moment (pg. 18-19) ya’ll just look dead watching Romaine and Jon talk.
  • Naomi Pg. 21 – Catherine c.: You can make more of that “out” in “out lesbian” esp. as you are entering (coming “out” from the aisle) the stage.

FULL COMPANY Is the protocol that when someone is left on stage after playing a Laramie citizen (ie still wearing their Laramie costume) they can also be referenced as a Tectonic listener. Naomi might want to look over her shoulder @ Ben/Doc during her speech (pg. 21). Same thing when Jonas enters the scene very near Romaine/Summer. If she can be looking at him that might help give him someone nearby to connect to as he enters the scene. Same thing with Father Roger (pg. 25) – Summer/Romaine is right there near you, TALK to her TOO

  • Ash make costume change a part of transformation have you read notes on blog
  • Afftene/Baptist Minister – can you find a way to make some of that pulpit speech sound as if it’s casual like “Now, I have a simple truth I tell my colleagues …” and help with the diphthongs “the Bible is TRUE whether I believe it or not”.
  • Andy much better on Mormon
  • Ash talk to JEFF about “what the hell am I doing here in Wyoming line” (pg. 26)
  • Kimmi cheat zubahdi out some….not so much profile to Ben (pg. 26-27)
  • Ashley announcing Doug Laws – make sure the pronunciation is clear STAKE ecclesiastical …
    • Ashley articulation on religious introductions
  • ASH/Stephen Mead Johnson — (pg. 24) Articulate when talking about Father Roger SCHMIT not Smith
  • Ash/Stephen Mead Johnson, remember the audience behind you.
  • Summer/Romaine lost “before the attack” (pg. 20)
  • BEN as Doc stronger pickup on coming in stronger on “who’s getting what”
    • Ben don’t lose “who’s getting what” you swallowed it (pg. 21)
  • Naomi great Catherine Connolly “Easier Said than Done” moment.
  • Julian you have a Good sense of Jonas  (pg. 22) have fun with him, let him have a sense of humor.
  • Kimi/Zubaida – let Stephen’s “yeah” register with you. If it’s funny, let it be funny. Let it be the turning point for you to have the realization about the strangeness of having a play made about you! This will really help Ben.
  • Summer/Baptist Minister’s Wife if you have to cross the stage, let the walk help you shift into her prissy body and her frustration with the ringing phone.
  • SUMMER AND NAOMI  BMW and Amanda remember not to look directly at each other in the phone call. In fact Summer angle focus right into the audience and Naomi Angle focus left into the audience.

FULL CAST  Use pre-show warm up include a time for folks to play a bit with taking one piece of costume and getting into a stance (or variety of stances) for the character that it transforms them into? We’re noticing some blurring of physicalities between characters. It also might help people find a “gestus” (like Andy’s hands in pockets for Jedadiah) that they can adopt when they aren’t speaking and are in a waiting position on stage.

  • KIMMI (Pg. 29) Kimi, I liked that surprise of Barbara when Matt G. started talking. But maybe just slide right into that shifted scene as if it’s a cut from one scene to another as in a film.
  • BEN/Matt G. (pg. 29-30) Ben – can you open up to include more of the audience, as well as Barbara?
  • Summer/Romaine – pg. 30 “his shoes might have …” this is the first time the shoes are mentioned and they become significant later. Articulate and set this aside.

Full cast. When you are speaking down an aisle turn to speak to audience behind you as well

FULL CAST Naomi’s in the Fireside scene … dressed as Sherry A but she’s listening as if a TTP member, yes? If so, then should people be talking to her as if she’s there?

  • Andy Matt M. is real clear in terms of rhythm….age him….bigger on all of it  make a strong choice on “everynights ladies night”
    • Andy. Yell for Galloway as if he is at a  distance (pg. 28-29)
  • Ben/Matt G. good at setting aside Aaron and russells entrance as a new beat
  • Ashley good strong start to Kristin Price, even stronger (pg. 30)
  • Ben great physical and vocal on Matt Galloway.
    • BEN to keep both doc and Matt from charactures, pull back some on “telling us about the character” energy. Keep all the great homework physically and vocally. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
  • Afftene/Shadow really get all the important details clear to audience to make your points
  • Naomi keep a good strong change at end of Sherry A…when you chastise Russell (pg. 34) nice with Sherry A. esp. last 2 lines.
  • Summer/Leigh articulation on fence transition (pg. 34)
  • ASH (pg. 34) Ash—when Stephen Mead Johnson says “the fence” make that have a different meaning/weight than the Moment announcement.
  • Julian/Greg (pg . 34) “no one saw me crying”  — remember the audience behind/around you?
  • NAOMI (pg. 35) take off your Sherry A. costume and hold it (if you can’t drop it off anywhere) when you announce the moment “Finding Matthew”?
  • Ash/Aaron stand further up on stairs
  • Emma/Reggie — That cuffing position is part of the reason you can’t get your knife in. You are representing the BINDING part of the story. Dr. Cantway represents the BRUTALITY and Aaron represents the NEARNESS to death.
  • SUMMER ASH AND EMMA  Lets try a rework of end of Cantway, Kreifels, Reggie — BEFORE SATURDAYS RUN we need to rework Reggi, Cantway, Aaron Kreifels.

FULL CAST Folks, as you talk, remember the audience to your left and right not just up and out in front of your eyeline.

  • Summer/Doc Cantway –don’t lose support under end of   “soberly this is how god feels about” maybe try a new emphasis : “God feels about US” (pg. 38)
    • Summer/Doc Cantway losing key words like “gross injuries”

Full cast don’t ever forget the gravity of the event you are witnessing to

  • ASH Rehearse hour Monday night in part with bart.


  • In the set up of the onion, Emma was standing very far away from Afftene.
  • BART Maybe the music seemed to last a touch long true? Before onion explosion.

FULL COMPANY Make the break at the top of the act more definite. Afftene go ahead and say moment A Laramie Man. To cue break

  • Summer/Romaine — “I was in the coffee shop.” (pg. 41) — lost it
  • Kimi/Trish just one more word to watch accent wise : “stomach”.
  • AFFTENE When you ID the folks in the opening moment of Act 2, maybe say their names to the audience vs. directed to them? Even if you gesture their way (which seems unnecessary since they rise when they speak).
  • Naomi/Catherine Connolly – did you sit at the top “The Essential Facts” moment mistake or do you sit and then stand?
  • NAOMI and JULIAN (pg. 45) Strengthen shift when Naomi/Catherine chimes in again and how the Judge descends into sotto voce

FULL COMPANY Coming on in act two make a decision about why you look at audience

  • Ash don’t ever hustle …. Move with purpose you draw attention to yourself.
  • Cameron much better at CEO rulon. Pace good, increase support. There are no mics
  • All reporters… No mics.  Make your voices support as if you are miced
  • KIMMI When Manny shifts his camera attention back to you, Kimi, take in the camera as your audience. It’s going to be live feed.
  • Spencer and Andy I completely missed Spencer and Andy’s media bits. Too soft.
  • BEN  Good Ben as Doc really taking that stage and focus over the media cacophony. Now enter back in as a reporter with more of a purpose.
  • Cameron back up more into the shadows when on the same level with the Governor in the sotto voce conference it seems  strange.
  • ASH/Bill McKinney Go ahead start speaking after Kimi announces you. Jeremy maybe hang back and catch her with the camera.
  • Jacob, nice watching on the TV.
  • Emma should you have been standing on “seeing Matthew”
  • Ben don’t lose “opportunity.”  (52) You are swallowing it. This is your regrets…strengthen this speech. As if to say Im sorry, I could have done something and I didn’t.
  • Cameron great sense of difference for Rob DeBree
    • CAMERON (pg. 51) Cameron. Even if that Rob vest gives you trouble, don’t let it look like you’re late. Maybe use a gruffness in voice/tone as a cover for emotion “As a homicide detective …”

FULL COMPANY LET”S TRY: What about letting folks sit down sometimes as they deliver their last lines, instead of having to wait to finish talking to sit? This would keep the energy in the same vein as we’re trying to have them consider talking as they start/enter a scene.

  • Afftene all your characters are strong…. Keep diction strong. Find key words.
  • Ash/Aaron — go further up on steps on 2nd Aaron as well. 2nd step from top.
  • Cameron don’t lose “and said” email writer (pg. 56)
  • Kimmi excellent on email writer.
    • Email Writer/Kimi – good with the accent esp. on “random”.
  • Cameron much better on loosing up body and shoulders. Great job at difference.
  • Afftene/Marge — Maybe take the “not at Matthew please understand …” to Jacob who is standing near you? (pg. 54)

FULL COMPANY Ya’ll want to find someone nearby to connect with whenever possible.

  • Andy homosexual Jedediah speech excellent (pg. 57) keep well supported….opening Jedediah speech needs to be supported and tempo of this.
  • SUMMER say the Moment as Andy hits the staircase walking down? (pg. 57).
  • Ashley good choices on Murdock (pg. 58).  Let him be bigger vocally and physically.
  • Ben/Conrad Miller’s a bit close to Doc in his hand gestures and pace of speech.

FULL COMPANY Think about ends the scene? The speaker or the listener? For example Murdock Cooper. When Ashley finishes her line does she turn away or does Jedadiah turn in response to Zackie’s voice and then Cooper leaves?

FULL COMPNAY The music is such a counterpoint to the expected mood at a vigil. So be sure that you all are maintaining the mourning in counterbalance. That end seemed strange.

  • Jacob don’t run up stairs after candlelight vigil.
  • Don only use one stool for Fireside bar.
  • Jacob/Shannon — “product of our society” arm around Jen (pg. 62)
  • KIMMI(pg. 62) Kimi/newsperson at Homecoming, careful not to rock back and forth. Your body stays still, your voice cadence and tone moves up and down.
  • Spencer great Moises.
    • Spencer/Harry woods is really great keep the emotional core strong.
  • Ben/Matt G. homecoming parade….really embrace it emotionally in marts way. You are almost there.
  • Emma/Sherry Johnson…excellent on parolmans wife.
    • Emma/Sherry J. – “who ya’ are” hitting that really emphasizes an accent. Maybe lightening it up a bit? There’s a bit too much knowing significance in this speech right now. I wonder how much it was meant to be casual. It’s awful but she doesn’t know that or at least isn’t affected by that. WE are affected by it.
  • Julian great transformation into father Schmidt in the “Two queers…..” moment
    • Julian – nice transition into Fr. Roger. Maybe sit first and then use glasses tuck to be the gesture that helps you “become” Roger?  Nice mining “correct” for its multiple meanings. Of all the characters who knows, as he speaks, the significance of his words it’s Father Roger.
    • Julian/Father Roger lost “I will do this” (pg. 65-66)
  • Spencer great Andrew Gomez.
    • SPENCER/Andrew Gomez (pg. 67) “He don’t even act like it was nothing.”  So does that detail influence the way Aaron says “He tried to grab my fucking dick”
    • Spencer I gotta hear…”he tried to grab my dick.”

Full cast. You know where you’re having line troubles …get it done!  You know who you are….

  • Rulon it WAS the world. (pg. 69)
    • Cameron, Rulon speeches were terrific.  Both the emotional breaks were believable.
  • NAOMI/Amanda That’s your way in– “I went to your service …” Your last-ditch effort to get the Baptist Minster to listen to you? But when he says the line about lifestyle, does that change your ending tone?
  • CAMERON (pg. 70) Cameron/Rulon–Keep that CEO face when you’re announcing Matt’s death? Then when you pull out Judy’s statement, it starts to crack.
    • CAMERON Rulon pronounces it ‘premaTure’ HARD T
  • BEN Ben don’t make your exit/entrance in the “Magnitude” moment. Get your jacket, folded on your arm but wait just off the canvas. Then make your entrance as Stephen to transform into Doc.
  • Cameron/Rulon – Maybe really adopt that voice of the email writer? Harsh and mean in contrast with your own? There seems like an awful lot of pauses in the pg. 71 section.
  • Ben/Doc – can you be sitting by the word “say” in H-O-P-E moment?

FULL CAST Let’s set a unified protocol for setting down chairs? – front legs first then back. All SAME. This might help keep them in a line along the back edge of the canvas (if that’s the desire).

  • Don – if Rulon’s going to leave his clipboard on the upper platform it needs to get on the intermission strike list.


  • Summer move at beginning of act 3 thru snow on Tiffany’s line (pg. 76)
  • Ben/Matt G. – Nice entrance for funeral but maybe slowly feel that cold, snowy weather as your segment goes on?
  • Summer walk in front of Ashley when you enter on romaine angels (pg. 78)

FULL COMPANY Learn amazing grace lyrics 4 verses and then stop singing. Don’t start with 1st verse over again. Give romaine the last word

  • Kimmi excellent on Lucy Thompson.
    • Kimi – Lucy Thompson is going a bit southern. I can hear you searching for a way to age your voice but that’s going to be a noticeable accent change from the expected WY twang.
  • Julian great articulation on sentencing
    • Julian standing as the judge during the “Russell Henderson” moment is a bit strange. Can he sit when Lucy stands and then Russell to stand again when he pronounces sentence? The protocol of the court is that the judge is seated but I’m assuming we’re doing something different because the table is high but the chair is low? LETS TRY IT.
  • Ashley much better on last Rebecca (pg. 84-85)
  • Julian great separation of characters
  • Kimi & Andy — setting chairs for interrogation set them closer in
  • Cameron behind chair on guilty
  • Summer/Romaine lost “political activism” (pg. 98)
    • Summer lost rock star line at end of monologue. (pg. 99)
  • Ben and Andy – the shift of Russell from the stairs to his chair was late. (pg. 81)
  • Ash – if you stand to change into the costume for the Mormon home teacher (pg. 84) should you then stay standing by your chair instead of sitting again and then getting up again?
  • Andy/Jedadiah– pg. 85 – the MY PARENTS! Can that be an exclamation of frustration? Because right now it seems like you’re coming on the stage to find them there.

FULL COMPANY (pg. 88-89) Death Penalty case folks – remember this is a conversation “amongst” each other. Marge starts us off then the argument pings along to others.

  • EMMA/Zackie (pg. 91) – pronunciation “MusconEE”
  • CAMERON/Rob (pg. 92)  you bring Rus into the conversation, why? To see whether Aaron will try to protect his friend?
    • Cameron/Rob — When you get Aaron to admit that Matt didn’t “threaten” him, is that a clincher? He’s been pushing this “gay panic” defense but he’s just admitted he didn’t feel threatened. Have you got him in that moment?
  • Spencer/Aaron don’t lose “queer dude: in interrogation.
    • Spencer/Aaron – in the interrogation scenes consider when Aaron is playing up a line of argument (like the gay panic) as a calculated effort to mitigate his guilt and maybe when he’s parroting things he might have concocted/learned from TV (it was me/someone else doing it) and when is he genuinely revelatory.
    • Spencer/Aaron — good on “license plate”
  • ASH Are you supposed to be standing during the reading of the verdict? I think I sat you down, let’s clarify this.
  • KIMI Can Kimi take her cross to her chair as she’s delivering the last part of her narration (pg. 95) so that she’s at the end of the canvas when she says “Here is some of what he said?”
  • Julian has cut Greg’s jacket in the final moment, why? (Jules’ question) Because he cant deal with Father Rodger and Greg. (Jeff’s answer) Is that correct, Julian?
  • Andy/Andy Paris, Stay standing for the “lights of Laramie” last line.

ENTRY 2 — March 20, 2011–by Jules

Don—can we find out the parking situation on campus for the next couple of Saturdays to make sure that folks from off campus have ample warning so that we don’t have lateness like this week?

EVERYONE – watch out for taking extra pauses. Attend to punctuation and sentence structure. Punctuation marks should help you find the pace of your characters’ speech and help you avoid a lot of extra pausing. Watch “get” vs. “git” unless specified in dialogue. Don’t speed through the middle of your sentences. Make sure each word or turn of phrase is clear and distinct.

Think of those props and costumes as tools. They are there to help you make the transition into and between characters. As soon as you pick them up from the pegs, they need to be activated. Jeff mentioned that you shouldn’t be moving into your blocking as if you are late for something. You are acting through those transitions and it’s OK for you to start “acting” even if you’re not fully dressed. Let the act of dressing not only give you something to do but also a way to shift from one kind of active witnessing to another and to activate your character’s testimony.

Specific notes for ACT I

  • Pg. 11 – When Rebecca Hilliker mentions “There’s a student I think you should talk to…” Andy, that’s your cue to start shifting out of being Andy Paris and into Jedadiah, so you’re ready to start with your Angels in America speech in the next moment.
  • Pg. 13 – Moment #5 – We’re going to cut the café table moving on for the “scene” in the diner. That should clear up the traffic issue and Greg, Leigh & Moises can use your chairs slightly differently. Ashley, you should still imagine that you’re coming up to their table at a diner.
    • This cut changes something for you, Andy. Matt Mickelson in “The Fireside” moment (pg. 28). You won’t have a table to lean against. Just turn your chair profile and use the back of it as you were using the table previously.
  • Pg. 16 – Afftene, enjoy with fondness the “Run for the Roundhouse” song and share that fondness with Alison (leaving Greg out). Remember that “corner” is a sexual reference.
  • Pg. 23 – Afftene as the Baptist Minister watch the diphthong on “i”s. It might help to not stress the word “Bible” but the word “tells” in the line “The Bible tells me that human history …”
    • If you think you don’t have enough time to get that minister’s coat on and bible picked up before your cue, be sure to be acting through the transition.
  • Again, for EVERYONE: you can dress (and sometimes speak) as you go. Don’t rush to get someplace just to get there. Make it purposeful.
  • Pg. 24 – Andy as Doug Laws. You must believe the religion. The sense of difference in Laws as a character distinct from those played by Ash, Afftene and Julian is good but coming close to satire (I immediately thought of Mr. Rogers). Think about the important words to Laws and that he’s drawing a distinction between Mormonism and other evangelical faiths (like the Baptist Minster). Mormons believe “God speaks to us today.”
  • Pg. 26 – Stephen & Zubaida. Stephen’s “Yeah.” Ben, notice that “yeah” is Zubaida’s go-to phrase in this moment. So do you offer your “Yeah” as a “I know what you mean?” kind of gesture?
  • Pg. 27 – Naomi and Summer in “Lifestyle 1” phone conversation – look past each other instead of directly across the stage at each other for focus. Summer, the minister’s wife’s objective is to get rid of this caller. Naomi, Amanda’s objective is to get your foot in the door for this source.
  • Pg. 28 – The Fireside – Ben, when Matt G. is telling his story, open up your focus to the seated audience not just Barbara.
    • Pg. 32 – Ben, take your hat off when you finish playing Matt G. and turn to listen to Shadow’s testimony. Just hold it in your hand.
  • Pg. 37 – Emma, when Reggie’s talking about the “cuffing position” it’s a position that is behind the back with arms crossed (very hard to do). So when you demonstrate it you’ll need to turn profile.
  • Pg. 38 – Summer – your tenderness is working for Doctor Cantway. In that last section, the multiple exclamation marks “I was ….very … struck!!!! They were two kids!!!!!” are for emphasis not anger.

Specific notes for ACT II

  • Pg. 42 – Matt G. when you are ‘telling’ your Tectonic interviewer about your conversation with Matt M. try it with looking at Matt even when you insert the narration like “I say” and “I go”? As if the urgency of the conversation with Mickelson is the important thing you’ve got to get across.
  • Pg. 46 — Gem City of the Plains reporters … do you all have your extra text found and on its way to being memorized? If not, you need to contact Jules ASAP if you want help finding material.
    • The mini-news conferences happening with Governor Geringer and Bill McKinney—have you all worked out specific questions and responses for these? If not you need to make those decisions amongst yourselves. I’m making this PDF (PRESSCONFERENCERESOURCES) which has sections from news articles featuring sound bites from Geringer and the one in-depth interview with Bill McKinney from The Denver Post in October of 1998. Use these sources to build your little sotto voce scenes. Talk to Jules if you have difficulty or questions.
  • Pg. 49 — Kimi deliver your “Bill McKinney, father of one of the accused” line directly to the audience, treating us as your camera since you’re speaking as a newsperson here. This might mean you have to hang back a bit as the throng of reporters move from Geringer’s press conference over to the other side of the stage.
    • ALL REPORTERS ON STAGE AT THIS MOMENT — Bill McKinney’s “conference” should now end after Tiffany Edwards’ last speech (pg. 49). In the shift between Movements, reporters should shift over to prep for Rulon Stacey’s press conference. Remember, active waiting.
  • Pg. 50 – Cameron. After you “show” your clipboard to the audience (cause we’ll need to see it so that it can stand-in for your podium for the rest of the Medical Updates) put it on the podium.
    • Remember Rulon’s CEO face. He only loses that later when Matthew dies (pg. 69). We can’t get too much of a foreshadowing of his breakdown from the start. The crowd of reporters can intimidate him but he’s a CEO; he’s comfortable being the face of a company even if he’s never done something of this national magnitude before.
  • Pg. 51 – Cameron, in Rob DeBree’s “Seeing Matthew” speech be careful of when he’s using present vs. past tense: “what others me the most is seeing Matthew …”
    • Same with Rulon (pg. 71) when he talks about getting the hateful email: “I didn’t understand the extent to which some people hate.”
  • NOTE FOR EVERYONE – be sure to attend to the verb tenses of your characters. It’s difficult because sometimes they shift around between past and present but this is a key to figuring out who is “reliving” a moment, who is look at that moment from a distance (denial), who is trying to recall something from memory, etc.
  • Pg. 53 –Marge stay sitting instead of standing when you speak during the “Seeing Matthew” moment.
  • Pg. 56 – Kimi, the email writer should have her last line then turn and walk away at the end of the speech even as Phil lectures at/after her.
  • Pg. 56 — Moment #27 – Andy, try to give Jedadiah a purpose and pace for entering the scene beyond just needing to come in and sit because that is the blocking.
    • Andy, in Jedadiah’s musings about homosexuality, it = sex: “… because I couldn’t do it—and speaking in religious terms–I don’t think that’s how God intended it to happen.”
  • EVERYONE—make sure you are clear on when to exit at the end of the Vigil scene. Saturday it looked rushed and everyone just seemed to want to get out of there. Even if the timing is off, be sure to exit with a composed attitude and feeling.
  • Kimi, your work on accents is coming along. The only time I saw some real blurring was in Zubaida’s monologues in the “It Happened Here” moment (pg. 59). I wonder if that might have been exacerbated by the fact that you narrate the “Vigils” moment (pg. 56) as yourself. You’ve got very little time between those two scenes and they’re on the same subject matter.
  • Pg. 65 — Moment #32—Julian, nice transition into Father Roger from Greg. Sgt Hing should work the same way.
  • EVERYONE — don’t forget to be answering an active question from the very opening of the show.
  • PG. 71 – During the “Magnitude” moment, Ben, you were waiting in the wings where Jeremy usually sits all suited up for your next appearance as Doc. Timing might make this moot, but I think you should plan to just have Doc’s coat in your hand, so that you can use it as you are transitioning from Stephen to Doc in the opening moments of the “H-O-P-E” moment.

Specific notes for ACT III

  • Opening of the Act — Ben, when you come on for the funeral, enter sooner. You can still have your moment of amazement at the sight but then you’re on stage to pick up your cue from Ashley’s moment announcement.
    • “Amazing Grace” folks you need to get your singing act together, especially because you are going to be getting into your angel wings during the off-stage time you need to be singing. Do we have enough verses? Has anyone looked at those verses? Have ya’ll decided on a style, tempo?
    • For now, Ashley will you join in the singing as the mourners leave the stage and then be the “leader” of the song while the off-stage folks are changing (and still singing). Then the music will swell and become more choral again as the angels finish dressing and then retake the stage.
  • Pg. 77 — Jacob as Kerry Drake be sure that you’re directing your comments in another direction so you don’t run into Naomi who is standing near you in the funeral scene.
    • ALL MOURNERS – you all are involved in your own “silent” scene of the funeral. You shouldn’t really look at Matt Galloway, Tiffany Edwards or Kerry Drake who all narrate in the midst of this moment. You can focus on each other and should focus on the Priest in the liturgy.
  • Pg. 77-80– Phelps and Phelps protestors. Do you all have or do you need extra material so you can have specific lines to say during the protest? And the transition between Phelps, the Narrator, Phelps again and Romaine (pgs. 78-79) seemed muddled but probably no wonder since ya’ll haven’t had a change to run it smoothly and with costumes for more than just one brief time! : )

ENTRY 1–March 14, 2011–by Jules

I’m making this post out of some notes from the March 1-4 run-throughs that Jeff and I met and discussed during Spring Break. Some of these items relate to specific scenes, but some of the information should be useful to establishing general acting protocols.

1. When you “have the stage” (so to speak) and your character is addressing his/her thoughts to a Tectonic interviewer, you want to watch that you don’t engage someone in “conversation,” as if they are in the scene with you, if they need to switch into their own Laramie character in the next line. An example of this happened Thursday night in the run of Act 3 was in the “Angels in America” moment, when Andy, as Jedadiah, finished up his monologue about preparing for his Angels audition and directed his last couple of lines to Cameron, who has the very next line after Jedadiah’s as Rob DeBree. I have no doubt this kind of thing will get easier as we gain a sense of flow and how people relate to each other on-stage.

2. In a related note, notice who is actually on-stage, near you when you are speaking and, unless it violates the conventions presented in note #1, go ahead and start speaking to them as if they are from Tectonic. This was a note I had from our Act 2 run when Cameron/Rulon you shifted from the news conference moment to “Magnitude” (70-71). Kimi was very nearby to you on-stage but I remember being struck by the fact that you never really addressed her or looked her way. And in Act 1, the quartet in the “Finding Matthew” moment, Ben was one of the only non-speaking bodies on stage and he never seemed to catch anybody’s eye. And in “the Fireside” moment, Naomi was on-stage but not really included in the conversation. Of course, even if you aren’t being actively addressed, if you find yourself sharing the stage with other characters who are speaking, remember you are always engaged in “collective witnessing”. Again, these are choices to get ironed out in coming rehearsals, but just something to think about as you are deciding who your “other” is in each moment/moments within moments.

3. The folks in the “Death Penalty Case” moment (87-89)– Marge, Zackie, Matt M, Matt G., Zubaida & Father Roger–once Cal Rerucha makes his statement that indicates this will be a death penalty case, let’s see what happens if you all offer your $.02 on the death penalty as if in conversation with each other as well as with your unseen Tectonic interviewers. This is similar to, but slightly different from the “Live and Let Live” scene in Act 2 (57-59) where Conrad Miller, Murdock Cooper, Zackie & Jonas all confront Jedadiah as if these are the conflicting opinions about homosexuality that he’s trying to sort out. I argued, and Jeff agreed (for now), that giving these scenes this kind of dynamic breaks up the presentational-heavy tone of the text overall. It also enacts the very juxtaposed argument structure of the scene itself. Let’s try and see what happens.

4. I think Summer was in the room when this note was given but I didn’t get a chance to tell Ash and the Phelps protesters. Instead of having Romaine try and maneuver herself down into the belly of the protest and get up on that center chair, Ash, why don’t you stand in that spot when you see the angels coming (or whenever you and your protesters were making that small circle center stage)? Summer/Romaine will stay up on the stage left platform (someone correct me if I’m mixing up my stage right and stage left) and deliver her entire set of lines (77-80) from there. The angels that surround Phelps and his group will raise their wings and, hopefully, that will go a long way to blocking out Ash/Phelps from view.

5. This suggestion was something that came up in the run-through of Act 2, specifically about the “H-O-P-E” moment where Ben transitions from Stephen Belber to Doc in the matter of a couple of lines. The idea was that instead of setting Doc’s backwards chair and then standing apart from it to speak Stephen Belber’s lines and then taking time between those lines and Doc’s lines to sit and get into character, that Ben could be setting the chair, taking on the stance, etc. of Doc even while speaking Stephen’s lines. The goal is a kind of fluid transition where the audience can see you shift from being one person into being another in ways that don’t leave long reader’s theater kind of pauses (no offence to reader’s theater).

You have a similar opportunity to do this kind of transition, Julian, in the very opening “A Definition” moment when you are Greg Pierotti and then Sgt. Hing and you have it again in Act 2 when you are Greg P. and Father Roger for “Two Queers and a Catholic Priest” (65-66).

Jacob, I believe you might look at doing this for the “McKinney & Henderson” moment (33) where you are both narrators and play the anonymous friend of Aaron McKinney. It might help with that very quick shift from dialogue to narration you have to do to introduce Sherry Aanenson.

And the only other person I believe who has this kind of shift is Andy, in the “Epilogue” moment when you are Andy Paris and then Jedadiah (98).

Everyone, whether you are shifting quickly between a Tectonic character and a Laramie citizen or just as you move from one character to another, think of ways that you can work your transitions among characters into your stage action.

Leave a Reply