Breaking this update into two parts, as there are two rehearsals to cover. First, this past Thursday.
An executive decision was made to move all remaining rehearsals until tech week, into the nearby chapel a few blocks away from the Full Circle building. Those loyal blog readers among you will recall that this is where most of my rehearsals for The Lion in Winter took place back in the early part of this year. It is also the same place where the performances for All in the Timing
This change was made so as to allow the contractors to get more work done in the new space, without disturbing the actors as we were trying to practice the play. And though I would personally prefer to be on a brand new stage earlier than a week before opening, (as would most of us), I think this was a wise decision on the part of our director. It will give us a space that has consistent dimensions, with more quiet, and much more space than we had amidst the construction left overs at the new place.
And so the chapel it is.
That being said...Thursday...
It was a piecemeal rehearsal for me. I am a bit behind my time in getting off book for the second act, which is what we ran then. So there is still a book in my hand, (and in most people's), plus much confusion remains as to where on the stage certain props and set pieces will be found in the final show. So it was stop and start for all of us.
The main challenge that hit home for me on that day was how little time I will have to go from the extreme darkness of the "Future Cratchits", upon losing Tiny Tim, to the brief but exuberant persona of Topper at Fred's house, in the "real" timeline. It represents quite a roller coaster.
This is of course my job, and I will do what I have to do to make the leap. But just because it is my job does not mean it is easy to do. Hitting a tiny sphere moving at 90 miles an hour with a large piece of wood is the job of a baseball player, but it's considered one of the most difficult things to do in all of sports. And while I would not say this leap from portraying despair, to portraying glee (in a few short minutes) is the most difficult thing possible for the actor, it has its complexities.
For one, I think, in the intimate theatre, that if my eyes tear up in the Cratchit scene, of even get a little red simply our of physiological reflex, they are not likely to clear up by the time I have to rush back out on stage as Topper. It would be clear to anyone, I would imagine, why that would be so if they noticed Topper's eyes at that point. (Plus a "normal" Cratchit only a few minutes after THAT.) Still, I do not want to be too worn down by the leap.
In the end, however, I would rather have Bob Cratchit's breakdown scene look sincere, even if it affects the remainder of the play somewhat, than to tone down or hold back in the mourning scene. I have sometime to achieve that balance, however.
Just another one of the unique challenges to this adaptation.
I would say this is the main thoughts that i took with me after Thursday's rehearsal. Beyond that it was a rather nondescript rehearsal, albeit it one that required some time to get off the ground.
For my thoughts on today's practice, check out the sequel to this entry, above. took place during Full Circle's debut just over one year ago. So we are quite familiar with the venue.