October 31, 2006

Day 10 - Rehearsals on stage begin

Sunday, October 29th

We have a total of 40 hours of rehearsal time with the actors before our first preview on Friday, Nov. 3rd, today we're scheduled to use 10 of them. This is the first day the designers, director, cast and crew are onstage and rehearsing together. The crew spends the morning moving props and furniture onstage from the rehearsal hall. The sets are dressed (decorated), the backstage area is set up with the usual conveniences (chairs, props shelves, water stations, quick change booths), safety lighting. A good cleaning is done. We don't have costumes today, there is usually enough to do in the first 10 or 15 hours of rehearsal that we don't add them until later.

The actors arrive at Noon and are shown around the stage. They're instructed on how to get from here to there, how to find their dressing rooms and green room, how to get out in the house, and they are introduced to the crew. We start rolling around 12:30.

We step through the blocking, write the lighting cues, set sound levels, add these elements to the scene shifts and then refine. And then refine some more. The refining will continue until we open (DAY 0). Things are going well and rather quickly. The flan doesn't work, it has to be creme caramel which comes out of the cup easier. The sheets are wrong (what about something with Robots on it?). Do we use Whole Foods bags, or something generic? Why not... Whole Foods gives us cookies to sell at concessions. We have to change some spacing here and there, the wagons bump into each other once. Nothing major.

The set designer takes and gives notes on some adjustments to be made over the next few days. The lighting designer refocuses a few instruments. All of the sudden, it's 9:40PM, and we're in the final scene. The actors are released? Did I hear that right? We were supposed to rehearse until Midnight! Sure enough, we've done enough for the day and we're finishing early.

We wrap up a post rehearsal production meeting by 10PM, in which we lay out the next rehearsal day's schedule, and discuss the work notes ahead of us. Out early two nights in a row? No one is complaining. Especially me. It usually takes us about 20 hours to get through the whole show the first time.


Happy Halloween :-)

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