A group of three are rehersing and two male players must share the same role as one is the understudy due to the other not being able to be on tour the entire time. This could have raised many challenges as both players invariably approached their scenes from different perspectives. In addition, the female player would have to adapt to each of the acting styles as well.
Moreover, there is concern that as they have also decided to co-direct the scenes as a group that they may not all share the same points of view in all areas; and that they may have different opinions as to what each character’s objectives are. From an interpretive point of view, the group approach and sharing of the male role was excellent because they were able work as a group and contribute equally to the creative process. At least, this is what took place on the first rehearsal as a group (29th October, 2007).
By the end of their session, they had the first of scene complete with characters motivation, subtext and action words. One clear benefit of working with one surplus actor appeared to be that there was somebody to oversee the direction and to contribute ideas to the scene. Where initially there were some reservations about the conflict of artistic ideas, the reality was that there was so much potential for improvement when watching the other couple run through the first scene, that all responded very well to contributions from the other not in the scene.
For simplicity, the main male actor and his understudy decided to use the same direction and movement, although the delivery of lines invariably differed. This meant that each was effectively directing themselves as the other would take the surplus player’s direction when with the female player, and then would duplicate it when performing the same scene. The players felt that the opportunity to have some leverage over the direction of the scene was engaging, particularly as their understanding of the text was comprehensive.