Dear Journal: I had a great day with all aspects considered. Even school was very interesting. We studied the Solar System today, and played floor hockey in gym. We started a craft where we hang all the planets on coat hangers so they orbit as they do in space. Chris, the big bully in grade 6, stopped bugging the entire grade 4 class, including myself. I hope he stops for good, now that the principal threatened him. I heard that if he doesn't behave, he would be kicked out of school. That wasn't even the highlight of my day. On the way home, I walked through downtown and noticed the old theatre was renovated. Last time I was there, about six months ago, the windows and doors were boarded shut. Now it looks very nice, with plush purple carpeting, and brass handrails and doors. It also seemed quite busy, so I decided to see what was happening. I went around to the back and found a nicely placed dumpster right next to the roof. I climbed on the roof and snuck in through a window. The first sight was amazing. I was right above the new stage on the rafters, and it had to be the best view in the entire theatre. I could see a group of people gathered on the stage, preparing for something. I wasn't sure what they were doing, and it was boring, so I decided to leave. Just as I was nearing the window, I heard someone yell out "O.K., everyone, let's get started." It was almost like a queue for me to return to the rafter. I now realized what was happening. The group of people were meeting for the first time and beginning a rehearsal. I have never seen a play before, let alone the preparation leading up to it. Oh, if father was to find out, he would beat me like never before. He shuns the arts and embraces science and technology. He wishes for me to do the same, and would hear of nothing else. He says it requires no thought or skill and is only for the people on the street to make some petty cash. If he could only see how much effort these people are using in their performance. Although they are professionals, they still work hard to perfect their techniques in giving a convincing performance. I have a feeling this will be a great play due to the focus and determination the actors display. I must return tomorrow to see more. Act I I still can't believe the view I have. I can hear and see everything so clearly. I borrowed a copy of Henry V from the library today so I can follow along while they rehearse. I've already read Act I, but it is quite strange in the way it's written. It takes me a while to decipher what is written. I hope that the rehearsal and performances will help me understand more easily. When I arrived, they were already rehearsing. Larey Apop, a Turkish director, knew exactly what he wanted to emphasize in each part of the play. He was very stubborn when it came to listening to what the actors had to say. The cast seemed very frustrated of his ways, but they also knew that it was for the best. "He has done this play four times before," said Ffej, an extremely bony actor playing the Bishop of Canterbury. "Anyway, I like how he wants the audience to view the play." Clada, a short, stout man playing the Bishop of Ely, wasn't as impressed with Larey. He had his own view of the play, but he would have to be content with Larey's view. Clada cried out, "If we present it as if the bishops were out to get more land, then it gives the church a bad name." Larey wasn't too happy with Clada's outburst and replied, "Shut up, you fool! This is my play." That answer silenced all of the actors' attempts to mold the play to their vision.
I could tell Clada wasn't ready to give up just yet; he had a look as though he would seek revenge somehow. Clada carried on, though, and gave a very good performance. Ffej and Clada both made their performance hint towards the fact that the bishops were in it for land and money. It was actually quite suttle, but to the point where one could clearly understand what their motives were. Larey was very satisfied with their performance and moved on to Act II. The point Larey wanted to emphasize here was the way the king was presented. Having done the play many times before, he decided to have the king appear very mature and capable. He revealed, "Once, when I did the play in London, I stupidly portrayed the king as the young boy he was. The reviews were horrible." For the first time, the entire cast agreed on something. Without any argument, the rehearsal for Act II began. The characters on the stage were King Henry, played by Joule, a young, but renowned actor who fit my vision of Henry perfectly, Exeter, played by an older man named Bordra, Westmoreland, played by a fun loving man named Sanka, and the bishops of Canterbury and Ely. After rehearsing their lines a few times to get the feel of the stage, Larey decided to make some changes. He said that Exeter should be slower in his speech, to make a convincing attendant. The next change he made was during Henry's long speech, "We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us " He said that he wanted the remainder of the cast on stage to act shocked at the tennis balls. "If we act shocked at the tennis balls, then the audience will know that the king is being taken very seriously by the rest of the kingdom," stated Larey. "It just re-emphasises how we tried to introduce Henry in the beginning, ready beyond all expectations." Once he made his changes, he went on to recognize the great performances of the bishops and king. He said that he was convinced of the hidden motive, as well as the emotion expressed by Henry in reaction to the tennis balls. After the scene was run through after the changes, a whole new dimension was added to the play. The depth I could feel in the presentation was rather emotional. I was thoroughly convinced of King Henry's anger toward the insult of the tennis balls, as well as the underlying motive of the bishops. "The way this is going," voiced Larey, "we should have about 2 weeks of dress rehearsal time before opening night." I was amazed at how much time they were going to put into this. With two weeks of fine-tuning related to what I've seen accomplished in two days, I can't even imagine how good this will be. They weren't finished for the day when my dad paged me to go home. I hope he didn't trace me to find out where I was, or else I wouldn't be able to sit for quite a while. Oh well, the play is just so interesting I am willing to risk it. I have to go to bed, but wonder if I can sleep with the play on my mind, as well as my father.