We're making great progress today in our first ten hours of rehearsal onstage for Present Laughter. Director Nicholas Martin reviews some changes in blocking as we set light cues, adjust sound levels, and do things over and over and over again until we have them just/nearly right. Justin Waldman, assistant director, also looks on helping Nicky with notes and blocking.
I don't have clearance today to take photos of the actors (union rules and all that) so here are a few shots of the set and a detail of a few of the murals. As I mentioned in a previous post - all of the woodwork is painted.
It was a great day of work - we got ALL the way through the play (VERY unusual for the first day) and we'll come back on Tuesday and start over again, adding costumes, wigs and make up in the evening. The wardrobe crew, having performed daring, multiple quick changes at lightning speeds on Well and Persephone will find Present Laughter deservedly a little more relaxing. Wednesday we'll do some notes and have another dress rehearsal. More notes on Thursday followed by an invited dress rehearsal (100 or so friends and family by invitation). And Friday brings another round of work notes and tweaks followed by the first preview performance.
Even Dead Gus, whom you may remember from his ACT II appearance in Persephone, was on hand today. He was busted for vagrancy out on the BCA Plaza after the show closed last weekend. Seems we forgot to put him in the truck. They didn't want Gus at Suffolk (no dummies allowed) and the Medical Examiner's office was baffled (he's not human) so after spending a week in the fridge he made his way back to the Huntington. His sentence? Five technical rehearsals and 34 performances of Present Laughter in this backstage lockup. Who knows where he'll end up next.
Ok - only some of that last bit is true. We get a little punchy this late on a Sunday night.
Misc news - Boston Theatre Marathon is in the Wimberly next Sunday (May 20), produced by Boston Playwrights' Theatre. 51 Plays in 10 Hours by 51 New England Theatre Companies, including one by the Huntington. It's a huge event in Boston Theatre, and is a benefit for the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund.
SpeakEasy Stage opens Parade this week at the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. It's the first production in the three seasons to use an alternate seating configuration in the Roberts. We set three of the configurations up during construction back in 2004 and this one (facing Warren Ave) is my favorite. It's nice to see it again.