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The Theatrics Formula; Drama kids assemble
Topic Started: May 14 2015, 06:15 PM (1,588 Views)
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((Nate Turner Pregame Start))

“It was a dark and stormy night, and the house was empty but for one young lady. She was curled up on the sofa, the fireplace roaring with a blazing heat as a tree scratched against the window outside and rain beat against the glass. She sipped her cocoa, but it did little to calm her nerves as… as… nuts.”

Nate glanced down at the script in defeat, then pressed his head into it as he let out a groan. He’d been running the line in his head ever since the bell for final period had rung so that he could set the scene, swearing to himself he’d have it memorised in time for the drama club meeting, but here he was still having to fall back on the text after two lines.

The school was between productions at the moment, so for now the group were just running exercises to keep everyone’s acting muscles nice and limber. Whilst he was looking forward to finding out what show they were going to be putting on next, the downtime was still plenty fun as he got to have a few laughs with his friends.

That’s what he would be doing, anyway, if he hadn’t been the first to show up. This meeting was taking place in the math class, as the gym had been taken over by Coach Parkinson for whatever reason. The series of mathematical posters decorating the walls of the room provided an interesting contrast to the creatively abstract theatrics it was about to house, but for now it just felt empty.

Nate hated empty rooms. He began to scratch his arm, glancing at the door more than the script as he hoped someone would show up soon. He was pretty sure that the meeting hadn’t been cancelled; he’d have heard about it if it had been, right?

Right?
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((Coleen Reagan, pregame start))

"Oh, there's nobody else here yet?" asked Coleen Reagan upon opening the door to the math room where Drama Club was supposed to be meeting, only to be greeted with a mostly empty room. The one person who was there, a cute underclassmen who Coleen would probably crush to death in a hug if she weren't the opposite of a touchy-feely person, was looking right at her as if expecting people at any moment. Well, of course he was, they were all supposed to be meeting soon.

"Hi Nate," Coleen offered a small wave as she walked in, setting her backpack down against the back wall. "How's it going? Just us, huh?" It wasn't that hard to believe, actually. Because Coleen preferred to get to meetings earlier, she was frequently one of the first three people to arrive to things like this. Walking into a room full of people tended to make everybody look at you arriving -definitely one of the most awkward feelings in the world. Being first or second let you take on the new arrivals one or two at a time.

As far as imposing presences, Nate was about as unimposing as it got. He always reminded Coleen of a child, maybe thirteen years of age, fourteen at most. He looked like he should be going to school with her little brother Ronald, not with her. That could have been, then, what made Coleen feel so comfortable around Nate, because it was really like being around a young kid. Young kids were something Coleen handed rather well... much better than she dealt with kids her own age, that was for sure.

"I don't know why we're having it here," she said, keeping up the small talk. "Um, if the gym's taken, you think... you know, we'd be in the east wing, where all the art rooms are." Coleen stood with her arms behind her back, smiling down at the seated Nate. Her eyes rested on the paper he had with him. Looked like a script to something.

"What's that? Are you writing a one-act?"
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Nate’s heart skipped a beat when Coleen walked in, a smile plastering itself across his face as company finally arrived.

“Hey Coleen!” Nate replied, waving back at her. “I don’t think it’s just us, but we’re the first, I guess?”

Nate wasn't that familiar with Coleen, beyond what he knew about her through the theatre club, but he liked her. They didn’t share any classes together, what with her being a senior, and this was the only club they were both members of. Still, she was always friendly and polite and easy to talk to, so that was enough for Nate.

As he smiled up at her from the table he was sat on, her eyes crept down to the script that was still in his hand. He’d forgotten he had it with him for a moment.

“Oh, this? Nah, I couldn’t write something like that.” he chuckled, “I printed it off the internet. It’s supposed to be like some improv scene, where you’ve got the main character in a gloomy house on a stormy night and then everyone comes up with things happening. Looked fun.”

Looked like less lines for memorising too, beyond the introduction. All the better to save him from worrying about screwing up other peoples' prompts when he forgot what to say.

He sprung off the table, walked right up to Coleen and held out the script. “See for yourself.”
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"Oh," Coleen said in that surprised way somebody exclaims 'oh' when having something suddenly thrust at them. "Oooooooh. Improv. Not my speciality," she said with a laugh as she took the paper from Nate. She glanced over it to give it a quick read, though she wasn't kidding when she said that improvisation wasn't her thing. She didn't think of herself as a particularly funny person, and even less so when things weren't meticulously planned out. She was the kind of actress that needed everything spelled out, every direction given, and nothing left to randomness.

Deciding after a moment that she wouldn't take her hair out of her face to give her left eye a chance at reading, Coleen let her right eye do all the work in finishing up, then handed the script back to Nate. "Well, since it's mostly improv, I'm guessing you've already got the whole thing memorized!" She offered a genuine smile, unknowing of Nate's progress, and looked around the room. "I'll show you what I brought in a minute, but... um, do you think we should move the chairs around first? So like, they're in a circle?"
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((Jane Madison, Pregame start))

So the thing about Jane and theater has always been that Jane is a terrible actress. Terrible.

She had no voice control whatsoever, so anything she said, memorized or otherwise, sounded like it was being read with difficulty off a manuscript. That, combined with a complete loathing to sing or dance, meant Jane had minimal actual talent as far as theatricals were concerned. Drama queen? Debatable. Drama geek? God no.

Still, she liked it. It was fun to work backstage, costumes, directions, scripts, staging, props all that jazz. Jane was good about that sort of thing. So she sat in on drama club meetings and she watched and she gave a token effort with her acting talent or lack thereof. But usually? She was in it for stage crew.

With a sense of purpose, Jane walked into the math room. She was not a purposeless walker in general; walking was a point-A to point-B means, no point dilly-dallying. She was pretty early, as usual, but there were already people there, which was pretty sweet. Coleen and Nate, to be specific, which Jane approved of. Coleen was a total wallflower, but she was actually pretty talented despite her messed-up face. Jane felt bad for the poor girl. Nate was like a super ball; tiny and energetic, a little spazzy but a nice guy in general.

"What's up you two!" Jane exclaimed. Cheery, but probably overdoing it. Oh well, not like anyone gave a shit if she was weirdly peppy. They were probably glad she wasn't sulking or whatever if anything. Not that she sulked.
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Nate gave an awkward smile to Coleen as he took the script back from her, deciding to keep his struggles to himself for the time being. He was nodding in agreement about moving the chairs when Jane announced her presence in the doorway.

“Hi, Jane.” He replied, giving her a small wave. Jane was pretty different to Coleen: loud, bossy, and not one to mince words, Nate usually felt a bit nervous when he found out he was going to work with her. He was just glad she stuck to the backstage, rather than think how she’d react if he lost his place in the script in a scene with her.

“We were just about to move the chairs around, if you want to give us a hand?” He smiled at her, then started stepping backwards towards the tables before he got a reply. He was about halfway there when he turned back to the girls, waiting for one of them to confirm that this was in fact the plan for now whilst also remembering what he'd been thinking about until Coleen had arrived.

“Oh yeah, and I showed Coleen an improv thing we could maybe do when that’s done and people show up, if you think that’d be cool?” He waved the hand with the script in it, just to be clear.
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((Irene Djezari continued from Laws Of Motion))

"My disco blah, Juliet, teenage dream..."

The tile beneath Irene's feet happily squeaked in time to a beat only she could hear, ripped wholesale from the song she was belting out as she stalked the florescent-lit halls of Cochise.

"I knew, we were born to be together- born to be togetheer..."

Her voice was untrained, a tiny and tinny piglet squeal. Sharp as the harshest of Cochise's teachers, it occasionally scared ne'er-do-wells from loitering despite the complete lack of actual danger. Each line she dropped her voice grew more affected, a rhythmic swing developed in her hips and joints. Mere walking to her destination was discarded in favor of something approximating a poorly choreographed musical number. The few passerby who raised eyebrows could suck it.

"We took the floor and she saaaa-aid..." Voice cracked.

"Oh don't you dare look back," Her quarry, at this point, could probably hear some sort of warbling tune in the distance. "Just keep your eyes on me, he said 'you're holding back', she said shut up and dance with me!" If this had been an essay Irene would have been marked down at this point for inconsistent gender identifiers. Unless it the subject of the song was Haley or Enzo or one of the others that went by 'they'. "This woman is my destiny- he said oooh-hoo, shut up and dance with me!" Irene finally burst into the math room she'd had as a Freshman, thrusting her hand in thoroughly exaggerated longing at the nearest thing that resembled a human being, her head cocked and a beautifully worn 'shut up and dance with me' expression etched over the youthful contours of her face, stupid grin worn bombastically. "Shut up and dance with me~!"

Nate, Coleen, Jane. She'd timed things well, none of the admittedly many people she kind of hated in this Club had shown up yet. Nate was cute, Coleen was cuter, Jane was cool. None of them were in the innermost of her nine circles of swag, so she didn't really spare any of them the brunt of her thoughts. Still, she held most of them in esteem. Nate sucked at remembering things and didn't draw the best casting but he was adorable, Coleen was a bomb ass singer and drew decent casting but was kind of awkward sometimes. Awkward quiet, not awkward the way Irene preferred to be. Jane wasn't cast in things period but she made a good member of the crew, at least when the two of them didn't argue over stuff.

"Hey guys. We setting up?" Irene dropped the jazz hands routine in the blink of an eye. Nate had been approaching the tables when she had melodramatically exploded onto the scene, so it wasn't too much of a leap for her to start bounding to the nearest table herself, intent on shoving things around for a few minutes with her comrades in theatrics arms. "Not staying for exercises but I'll...- mmph, I'll help while I can."
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"Uuuuuuuuuuuuh yeah!" Coleen had to fish her concentration for conversation back to the forefront of her mind since she was in the middle of moving a few desks into a rough arc as the start of the circle. "Today was, like... bringing your reading, recitals, that sort of thing." Once she was happy with the position of the desks that she had moved into position, she looked between Jane, Irene and Nate. Of the three of them, only Jane was in her grade, so she was the one that Coleen spent the most time with. They were friends and all, at least from how theatre had put them together, but they weren't going over to each others' houses or anything. Nate was still a ball of cute and Irene was... she was talented, but maybe a bit full of herself. That's how Coleen saw it, but knew it was terribly mean to think like that.

As it stood, Coleen had heard Irene coming. She wasn't exactly stealthy, singing and dancing her way down the halls. It seemed like she'd put her energy to good use. That was fine; between Irene's energy and her own direction, Coleen gathered they could honestly set up the room by themselves if Nate and Jane didn't get started quick enough. So she buckled down and got to work, thinking about the own work that she had brought.

"Oh, right, Nate," She said between breaths as she struggled to pull the next desk into position. She was already getting a little bit tired, not being used to moving these heavy things around. "The thing I brought is... gah... a, um... mmmph. A soliloquy from Summertree. You know of that, right?"

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Oh man, judging from the singing Irene was here. Jane and Irene were cool, they clashed on occasion but usually got along okay. Nate said something about moving chairs, which Jane quickly got on, moving around Coleen to start setting up a circle. Irene walked in with all the glitz she usually had. Jane greeted her by means of a nod.

Oh yeah, they were supposed to bring a practice thing today. Luckily Jane had remembered, or rather, luckily Jane had the presence of mind to write it down in her organizer. Goddamn, she needed to do like memory exercises or something, she would've forgotten she had it.

"Yeah, Summertree's that old movie right? With Michael Douglas and some other people?" Jane was...vaguely familiar. Her mom liked old movies and junk, but Jane was pretty sure she'd seen bits of this one. "Oh, yeah, I have a practice thing. One sec." Jane set her bag on the ground and started rifling through it. After a moment, she triumphantly pulled a set of papers from it.

"Yeah, here it is. It's a scene-building thing, you design a scene where you only say like four words." Jane scanned the paper quickly. "Yeah, the only words you can have in it are...'Yes', 'No', 'Please' and 'Banana." She chuckled at the last bit, but composed herself a moment later. "Just thought it'd be a fun little thing." Getting back to setting up the chairs, Jane started shifting around the tables to make a circle.

"You bring anything, Irene?"
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Nate was in the middle of dragging a desk into position, showing little trouble with the task compared to Coleen, when she threw the name Summertree at him. He returned her a blank look, as the title sailed clearly over his head.

“I don’t know that one. What’s it about?” he asked, aiming the question a little towards Jane too, since she seemed to know more about it. He looked to Irene as well, though he didn’t want to find out that everyone besides himself knew what Coleen was talking about. Hopefully it was just some obscure movie which there was no reason for him to know about, and he wouldn’t have to feel out of touch or uninformed, or stupid.

It was nice of Irene to show up, though her intention not to stick around wasn’t surprising. He’d known her long enough to know that she followed her whims to a T, and that being flighty and being Irene were one and the same. He had to admit that he admired her confidence in her approach to life, though, and if nothing else she was a nice enough person.

As the circle of chairs came closer to completion, Nate found his focus shifting between the three girls. Their pieces for the meeting sounded great too, really, but he still quietly hoped they could do the one that he’d brought. It wasn’t that they didn’t sound fun, because they did (although Coleen’s soliloquy did seem like it would lead to a lot of lines, but at least he’d have a script), but he really wanted the chance to get the narration right for his own scene, just to show to himself that he could.
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Make a circle, make a circle...

"Summertree? Never heard of." Nate wasn't completely alone in that regard, at least. While Irene could be counted on to have twenty questions worth of useless trivia knowledge at any given time it was rarely actually applicable. A few more chairs were hobbled over to the circle, Irene unceremoniously dumped one besides Coleen's most recent acquisition. "Mmm." Jane had asked her a question. She barely avoided holding up traffic as her hands scrounged through the little crevasses on her pants, but she came up empty handed. Honestly, why had she even bothered? Girl jeans in her fit barely had room for air in their pockets, let alone actual items. "Either I didn't bring or I left in my bag. Which I either forgot either in the locker room or in Mr. Dukoff's class." Schrodinger's acting exercise, possibly never to be found again.

"I think you guys should do Jane's thing though, it sounds funsies." Irene fumbled with one of the final chairs necessary, trying to bear hug the back of the chair to her chest. "Nate can show us his legendary improv swag, eeeyyy." Again, she did genuinely admire most of her peers in the class for at least some facet of their talent. It was a good crew they had this year, occasional casting slip ups aside. Back in her day getting cast meant going uphill to school both ways. Wait, hadn't most of these guys been there Freshman year too?
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Now that the other three had revealed their assignments, Coleen slowly came to acknowledge the pit of uneasiness welling up in her stomach. "Oh shoot guys," she said. "I, uh... I think I might have misunderstood what we were supposed to bring."

Nate, Jane and Irene had all brought interactive stuff, scenes you were supposed to do with more than one person, maybe have some fun with it. On the other hand, what Coleen had brought was, as she said, a soliloquy. She figured they were all just supposed to bring in a sample script and recite it to the best of their ability, but if the task was to bring something for a scene with multiple characters, then... it was a little hard to have a soliloquy with more than one person when the whole point was for one person to talk to nothing.

"Since, you know, it's kind of a solo scene that I brought..." Coleen tapped the tips of her index fingers together in front of her. "It's that scene from Summertree where this soldier, um, is leaning against a tree and dying."
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"Aw, thanks for the vote of confidence Irene." Jane said it to Irene, but she smiled at Coleen. Now that she thought more on it, she was pretty sure she'd seen that movie before somewhere. Where? Who knew. Probably grandpa watching it some time. He'd always liked that kind of old movie crap. But anyway, poor thing. Coleen was so insecure it made Jane wince. She ought to have some confidence, Jane figured. Confident but humble, or whatever.

"It's cool, we were just supposed to do practice stuff I think. No big deal." Moving around the rest of the drama club, Jane took a seat at the circle, facing towards the whiteboard at the front of the room and set her bag down on the ground next to her. It was a decent turnout so far, which was nice; Jane hated seeing the numbers dwindle, it felt like a sad balloon deflating.

Still, hopefully more people showed up. A four-man club sounded about as pathetic as a one-man band concert turnout. That is, pretty damn pathetic. Damn, that was a simile from hell. "So should we take a vote on whose we do, or wait around for more people?"
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Nate found himself smiling bashfully as Irene sung praises of his improv skills. ‘Legendary’ was probably overstating it, and it’s not like he did it deliberately or anything; it was just a coping tool for him, after all. Still, he didn’t mind the praise.

“I mean, Jane’s thing does sound fun and all.” He didn’t lie as debate over which scene passed between the club members, since he actually had a few ideas on how to spin the four words already. It wasn’t as if he could only use improv to save face when he tripped on a line and nothing else.

“And it’s not that I don’t think it’d be a great soliloquy,” he turned to Coleen “but it’s a soliloquy after all. Maybe we could do it later?” He was trying to be diplomatic, but truthfully it sounded a little heavy, particularly without the scene’s whole context. Maybe if he’d seen the movie it’d come across as more appealing, but listening to a dying soldier just seemed like it might be a bit of a downer to start off on.

He looked down at the script in his hand again. It’s not like they couldn’t do his scene later too, and it wouldn’t be fair to ask Coleen to wait and then insist on doing what he wanted. Besides, he still needed to read the intro over a few more times before he could claim to be ready to do it in front of the rest of the club.

“I’d be alright to do Jane’s first.” Nate half-shrugged, still keeping an eye on Coleen in the hope that she didn't look too disappointed. “We could always start now and then start again if someone shows up.” He found himself glancing at the door as he spoke, as if someone would respond to the cue and enter the scene.
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"Yeah, okay, let's all do Jane's then," Coleen said. It still kind of hurt that she had misunderstood the assignment, but that sort of thing happened. She could probably rummage through her drama folder and pick something else out that was serviceable, even if that was cheating just a bit. Such a thing would penalize her in an actual class, not here.

"That looks to be all the chairs too," she said, turning her head to scan the room. She had a couple fingers on her neck just under her ear so she could feel her neck pop... satisfying, every time. They had finally, using most of the chairs in the classroom, formed a large circle with a generous space in the middle where performances could take place. There was, of course, a small hole so they could get in or out without jumping or crawling. There was one time where they forgot to do that. Coleen didn't like remembering about that day.

"And um, I don't think we're getting anybody else so... should we start?"
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