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The production of Mame I’m directing for GAMP is progressing slowly, very slowly. Of course, with only seven or eight hours of rehearsal a week, it’s tough to get any kind of momentum. (That means we’re only about sixty hours into the rehearsal process, not counting their music rehearsals.) The student actors, understandably, forget staging that was created a few weeks ago with no opportunity to review it in the intervening days. Their lack of vocal technique and a sense of the stage compounds the problem – they lack the experience that would enable them to function more efficiently under such difficult circumstances.
One of the most remarkable things, to me, is their inability to sing words intelligibly. Nearly all the chorus and most of the leads sing with a vague, whispery tone, no articulation, and little support or resonance. When they sing words, there’s little sense that those sounds actually denote something that has meaning.
I’m hoping that some of this improves with practice. More than anything, they need to go over and over the material, so that they can become more secure with the multiple tasks they are called on to execute.
In the meantime, it’s a challenge to remain patient and not weary of the effort. There’s no point in berating them for not knowing how to do things they’ve not been taught to do – after all, it’s not like any of this is innate. And professional actors would be inclined to be forgetful when faced with a sporadic schedule like the one we’ve been on.

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