No advice column this week, as I have two nights of rehearsal to cover tonight.
Last night my cast and I were on stage for the first time. It takes some getting used to of course, and I fully expected there to be some issues to work out. There were, but not as many as I anticipated. I am happy to report that my overall vision for such things as blocking, prop handling, and podium positioning remains intact. The few changes that were suggested were things I had overlooked. The show is better for having made the changes.
At the end of the practice, one of the actresses said, “I’m having fun now.” I relate. It is always good to get on stage for the first time, even if it is just a reading. The chance to feel out your performance space, and to orient yourself, and your character to the surroundings is long awaited to most actors, and directors. The smooth transition from rehearsal space to the stage has guaranteed us even more time to hone in on character nuance and line readings. I could hardly have asked for a better condition for the play to be in heading into the final week.
Today was a dry tech. Due to the limited technical requirements of my show, I did not have very much to stress about today.
True, the whole day was time consuming. Given that it is a festival four other shows must be incorporated into the space and time allotted. That notwithstanding, once some initial delays were overcome, the more technical aspects were laid out. Cue sheets and lighting plots were worked out for each play. (By and large.)
As I mentioned, spiking the set and plotting the light cues for my show literally took less than 5 minutes. Does not sound like a lot, and indeed by some standards, it is not. I have never been a techie inclined director. I try to adopt a minimalist approach to such matters, when possible. Without a doubt it is possible in this show.
After that though, I had little to do. I did not want to over-examine the technical angles, and complicate the simple, so I went home.
The order of the shows has been set. A comedy will start off the evening, followed by the only drama. Clocking in and 40 minutes, this is the longest one act in the festival this year. After the first two shows, there will be a brief intermission. After said intermission, my show will open up the second act. I like this. It allows me and my cast to be less stressed about setting the stage. We can simply do it during intermission.
Tomorrow is to be the first run through of all of the shows in one sitting. Much to my regret, one of my cast members will not be able to attend this rehearsal. I don’t know if this means we will run it with a stand in, just to get the timing for the other shows down, or if my show will just be skipped. Either way, I return tomorrow.
What has been a confederation of 5 separate and very different one-acts will start to come together as one evening of theatre tomorrow. Time will tell how smooth such an amalgamation will be for us all.