Friday, May 18, 2012

Duchess of Malfi

Steven's first official project for the RCS was a show called The Duchess of Malfi. The program put on two seperate shows and they split the students into two separate Casts. Steven wasn't thrilled when he found out he was in The Duchess since they had to combine two smaller parts for him to play. He was cast as Castrucio/Pescara but it ended up being a really fun experience for him. He found out near the beginning of the rehearsal process that they were going to need a little boy to be cast as well, so he suggested Rhys. Everyone in the Cast had already met Rhys and so they were all very supportive of the idea and helped convince the Director to meet him.
The Directors name is Pete and he was instantly impressed with Rhys. He was cute, polite, happy, and willing to do the part. So, they cast him! The only hard thing about it was Gavin was too young to be involved and so we had to get a babysitter for him for all the performance nights and the one matinee. Luckily, we have some amazing friends who all pitched in and helped so he was always in really good hands.
Rhys was involved in 2 regular rehearsals, a Tech rehearsal and a full dress rehearsal before finally doing 5 actual performances. He was also only in 3 scenes, so it wouldn't be too overwhelming for him. The first rehearsal they did was more of a "playing" rehearsal. They got together as a cast and got to play games with Rhys for about an hour. Their favorite was the "Dragon game" where Rhys told them what type of Dragon they were supposed to be. It ended up being a huge inside joke, and everyone would always ask Rhys about Dragons. =)
They ended up blocking his scenes on that first rehearsal really quickly, and he caught on really well. The Director was actually a little worried at first, because his last scene involves him kneeling by his dead dad and looking sad. During that first Rehearsal Rhys actually started crying and Pete was worried it was going to be too rough on him. But, as soon as they were done with the scene he stopped the crying and went right back to playing. Apparently, he really is his Daddy's boy and knows how to control his emotions like that.
I was very impressed that he remembered exactly what he was supposed to do at the next rehearsal. They made one small change, but Rhys was able to do the change right away and then never forgot to do it on the actual performance nights. He was such a hit and everyone always joked that he stole the show. He just looked so handsome in his little suit and he did such a good job on stage that it was hard not to be impressed by him. Plus, the play ends with Rhys coming on stage, walking across it to his pretend Dad and kneeling by his side. Its the last thing you see, so of course its going to stick with you.
Rhys loved being in the show and has actually asked when he can be in another one. But this time he wants to be able to talk. =) Steven's a little worried, because as much as he loves acting, he would never wish for an actors life for the boys. I'm just hoping this is something that Rhys enjoys doing.. that will help him develop his personality and make friends.. but that he'll be happy doing something else when he's all grown up. I keep reminding Steven that not everyone who does Theatre in School growing up wants to keep doing it when they graduate. We'll just keep holding on to that thought!
Steven was also extremely impressive. I only got to see the first half of the show during a dress rehearsal, since I was Rhys' chaperone and had to stay with him at all times. But he did an amazing job. I'm sad I never got to see the scene where he was the "Crazy" man.. but I saw it on a monitor back stage and it looked really cool. We figured it would be too scary of a scene for Rhys to watch, so we didn't go sit back down once Rhys started in on his scenes. This is the first show that I have not seen all the way of Steven's since we've been together, so it was an interesting experience. However, it was really fun to get to be backstage and to see his process as he got himself ready to go out there every night. I'm really grateful that I got to experience it and I'm really glad that Rhys had so much fun doing it.
Here are some of the pictures that I took of some of the things going on Backstage. I didn't get any pictures of the actual performance, which makes me very sad. They had a professional taking some during their dress rehearsal, which is why I didn't worry about it.. but he only got 2 of Rhys in it and ones not very good. I just wish I had one of him kneeling at the end during his final scene, since it was such a neat one.. but I'll just have to make due with the ones they took. The final few are the professional ones from the show that have both my boys in them. I hope you enjoy them. =)
Rhys with his "pretend Dad" Steven Wallace. They because very good friends.
 Rhys in his dressing room. He got one all to himself since he was a child.
 Father and Son. They were matching in their suits. =)
 On our way home opening night. We had Rhys go home in his pajamas and we brushed his teeth there so he could just go right to bed. He was also given that Tulip by a friend and he loved it.
 Rhys trying on Levi's jacket and hat.
 He was about to go on stage and he was just so excited I had to get a picture.
 Closing night the cast all pitched in to buy him a present. This was him opening it.
 They got him a Dragon toy and the book How to Train your Dragon. =)
 The Whole Cast together. Rhys was too busy looking at his book, but its still cute.
 Rhys and Flora. He came on with her for his final scene.
 Rhys playing with Steven and Levi.
 Rhys and Keith... poor Keith was scared. =)
 Rhys with Steven and Kate. They were his pretend parents.
 Steven with the other crazy patients and the Doctor.
 Steven waiting to go on.
 Here are the Professional shots. They're really quite cool.

It was very sad, Steven's parents came the weekend that the show opened but we found out that there wasn't a Saturday performance so they weren't able to see it. I don't know who was more sad, them or us.
Oh, and here's the link to anyone who would like to see all of the pictures of the show that were taken.

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