We’ve been ploughing ahead with rehearsals since the 20th, and here’s the report. (I’ve taken the liberty of writing these third-person; sorry if that’s weird.)

REHEARSAL 2 – May 20, 2013

Location: Kamiooka Tea House
Attendance: Andrew, Roni, Sarah, Robert
Late: Mari
Absent: Jay

This was our presentation day. Sarah lead off and presented on the experience of solitary confinement. She used music, power point, and readings from prisoners’ writings about solitary confinement. Roni followed up on the clinical effects of solitary confinement.

Mari did a presentation on unwanted guests.

Robert and Andrew both covered the topic of ghost stories. They both touched on the Yotsuya Kaidan ghost story. Robert also recounted a true story of a man who discovered, after planting cameras in his apartment, that there was a woman living in his closet who would come out while he was at work, steal food, use the toilet and shower, clean up a little, and then go back into hiding.

Andrew talked about the types of ghosts in Japanese stories: Onryuu (revenge ghosts) being a particular focus.

 

REHEARSAL 3 – May 23, 2013

Location: Kanagawa Earth Plaza
Attendance: Andrew, Roni, Sarah, Robert
Absent: Mari & Jay

This was our first improv rehearsal, and everyone brought a couple of scenarios and improv exercises.

After warming up, we each demoed an acting exercise to the others. We’ve decided to keep this exact warm-up and exact exercises for the following rehearsals for the sake of simplicity.

We then proceeded to do several improv scenes.

1. Robert & Andrew try to kidnap Roni using the pretext of a package being delivered to her house.

2. Andrew, an agoraphobic, must be extracted from his room by Sarah.

3. Sarah wakes up somewhere and doesn’t know where she is or how she got there. She thinks Robert is a hallucination. He, in turn, is trying to help her out of wherever it is that they are.

 

REHEARSAL 4 – May 27, 2013

Location: Kanagawa Earth Plaza
Attendance: Andrew, Roni, Sarah, Robert, Christiane, Yinan
Absent: Mari & Jay
Guest: Michal

In this rehearsal, after warmup, we were filmed doing improvisation around the theme of “Fukushima”. We were all very careful, since we had no Japanese people in the group, and only two of us were actually in Japan in March, 2011. Most of the improv work was only linked thematically, although there were two scenes that touched more directly:

1. A tourist couple eating in a restaurant. The girlfriend didn’t want to eat food if she wasn’t 100% sure it didn’t come from Fukushima, and the boyfriend just wanted dinner. (As their secrets, the boyfriend wanted to propose over this expensive meal, and the girlfriend was pregnant. Secrets make great scenes.)

2. A couple were trying to decide whether or not to cancel their wedding due to the earthquake and the reluctance of certain guests to attend.

 

Who knows if Michal got any footage she could use. I think we all felt that we were just hitting our stride when we had to wrap things up (since the community centre was closing).