After our read thru, we started in blocking. Next to the first read thru, the first blocking rehearsal is my least favorite rehearsal day. I always want to look like everything's done, everything's under control--but realistically I know that what I lay out in the first blocking rehearsal is going to change substantially. You have to have something on paper. And, you want to be clever enough to save yourself time in the process by getting enough working moves out there from the start. So it's a challenge.
I've always found as an actor, it's easier for me to remember my lines if I've been put somewhere on stage. (I have a lot more trouble if the director makes me "find my own blocking"). And as a director, I don't think we can really get to the acting work until the lines are learned. So the first blocking (for me, anyway) also works as a tool to help the actors get the text into their heads. The sooner they learn the lines, the sooner they know their characters and the easier it to find blocking that feels (or at least looks) organic.
This particular play and venue have their own particular challenges as well:
The most logical place for a pig is the floor, right? Since the audience is only on a slight rake, however, if the pig's on the floor the whole time, he's going to large unviewable from the third row and back.
So, how do we get him up on the couch?
How do we get him up on the bed?
How do we get him up on the table?
And how does a pig handle props--like cellphones, dvd's and sketch pads? They didn't really cover this at the School the Arts.