From Our Cohorts: The Royale, August 24, 2019
Day 11, August 24th, 2019
The last two sessions of the day were devoted to scene 6. This is the climax of the play. It is a complex scene with many moving parts that have to mesh together at the end to deliver, as it were, the knockout punch.
The scene centers on the confrontation between Jay and Nina that is acted out in the form of a “fight” of its own while the actual fight, between Jay and Bixby, is going on simultaneously in the background. It is through the Jay/Nina confrontation that we learn of Jay’s true motivation—engendered by racial issues—to fight Bixby and become undisputed world champion. Jay triumphs in the end, and as Bixby goes down we also learn that Fish—Jay’s young sparring partner—has just been stabbed at a nearby bar; an act that symbolizes the racial antagonisms that Jay’s victory will bring, as predicted by Nina.
Each component of the scene is a source of dramatic momentum and since momentum is a vector this means that they all the vectors have to add up in the right direction, namely the conclusion of the play! The whole scene and various sections of it were rehearsed repeatedly as the director worked on the precise positioning of the actors and the choreography of Jay and Nina’s interaction. There was constructive feedback between the director and the actors as they sought to optimize the action. Fascinating stuff.
Cohort Club Member, Michael T.