For the second casting call, a whole bunch of new people showed up, including four women, two MMA fighters, and several new lightsaber enthusiasts (Force bless ‘em). We began like the first one, with warm-ups, rolls and falls, the takedown, and training in the same basic BJJ routine.
Mark Greenfield, founder and creative director of the Faux-Real Theater Co was there. He is the man that got me back into theater about 11 years ago, and who’s version of Oedipus Rex gave me the creative breakthrough I needed to really see how this show could be done.
He led the workshopping of the grid this time, taking it places I had not imagine. In addition to incorporating the takedown, he added different speeds, added salutations, and added what I call the “centipede.” In this, when a player took down another player, that player joined his “army.” Working this in the grid, that led to long lines of “centipedes.” When two leaders faced off, the winner of the takedown would gain the other’s army. On those occasions when two facing actors could not decide who would win, another actor took the initiative of stepping between them and calling odds or evens.
Interestingly, the most experienced MMA fighter, one who professed no theatrical experience, stayed away from the other players until the very last moment, when it was one long centipede against him,. When we talked afterward he said that the point of fighting is always to attack. This is a concept I understand but had not considered making use of. I look forward to his contributions to the show.
At present, the cast is slightly bigger than I think I will have room for at Wicked Faire, but for the most part they are an enthusiastic bunch, and seem to be willing to “rough it” a little bit to do this show there. This is very encouraging.