It has been a fast-paced couple of rehearsal weeks but I am pleased to say that our company has blocked the entire show! It is a good place to be after week two and we have had three full runs before production week commences.
The daunting part about day one of rehearsals was not knowing the work ethic or personality traits of the people I would have to work closely with. It is incredible that a fortnight ago we did not know one another.
Thankfully, my cast and creative team are lovely and the dynamic between all of our personalities is conducive to creativity and productivity. We recently learned that many of the cast are Scorpios, how cool is that?
We have had a lot of laughs already from sight-singing through the score and cold-reading the script at the start of rehearsals to completing all of the routines and segues between numbers by the end of the fortnight.
I truly enjoy the creative process of building a show with others and the luxury of doing it full-time helps me to retain material.
There are some very funny moments in this show thanks to composer Dennis Giacino. A former history teacher, Giacino created Disenchanted to put a new spin on these classic stories.
Three of the original cast members explained the composer’s intentions in more detail during an interview on CBS New York and they performed the opening number One More Happ’ly Ever After.
I have enjoyed the critical conversations we have had about characters and the process of finding intent within a scene. In our character studies, we explored stereotypes, choice, gender roles, archetypes, family, honour, love, and happy as well as not-so-happy endings.
The authors that have had a large influence on these stories are Charles Perrault, Hans Christian Andersen, and Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (the Brothers Grimm).
For each of my three characters, Hua Mulan, Pocahontas, and Princess Badroulbadour, I have researched historical portrayals and compared their Disney versions with their original form.
It has been fascinating to learn about the changes applied to them over time especially when a story has become romanticised or the plot has changed significantly.
In my time away from the rehearsal studio, I have immersed myself in the beauty of the Sunshine Coast and have enjoyed social outings with my cast mates.
I am consciously focusing on running, nutrition, and meditation to ensure that I am at my best for the performances.
One thing I like about Noosa is that there are no traffic lights here, instead there are roundabouts.
Driving around is simple and so many roads lead to stunning natural locations. The intensity of our rehearsal schedule is nicely juxtaposed with the calmer pace of Noosa and its surrounding areas.
I am making the most of every part of this experience away from home. We have been challenged physically, mentally, and creatively to produce work of a high quality. And for this I am grateful.
DISENCHANTED – cast and creatives
Produced by Mad About Theatre
Madison Thew-Keyworth – Director / Choreographer / Producer
Bradley McCaw – Musical Director
Ellie Nunan – Snow White
Courtney Underhill – Cinderella
Tayla Johnston – Sleeping Beauty
Demi Phillips – The Little Mermaid / Belle / Rapunzel
Asabi E. Goodman – The Princess Who Kissed the Frog
Jennifer Trijo – Hua Mulan / Pocahontas / Princess Badroulbadour