Today was quite a long day at the theatre.
To begin with, I am proud to declare myself off book for act one. I was close before, and of course could still flub a line or two here and there between now and the opening of the show. (Hopefully not afterwords!) But today marked the second time I ran through act one without major problems. When that happens, I usually declare victory in the off book battle. Now that just leaves the process of getting there with act two, which I have only a few days to do....
Rehearsal was still rife with stops and starts today. We are all trying to get used to the "new" rehearsal space, and to remember what piece of random chapel furniture represents what eventual set piece. So once again there was halting progress today.
Yet it was progress nonetheless. I can now, in the time I have left, begin playing with the nuances of the scenes and the characters. Which I love to do.
One thing I am attempting to do in various ways is to have my base character, (Stanfield) foreshadow all of the roles he will play later on. I am trying to do this but given him certain stances, or gesticulations, or facial expressions in the first scene which will be utilized heavily by his characters later on. Some might notice. Most shall probably not notice. But those extra touches are what make the process so rewarding for me.
It requires more thought and work. But I shall loyally report to you as the weeks tick by, the details of progress, as always.
The director wants the play to be light, and even bordering on silly for the first few scenes or two. The Dickens party, and the first few scenes wherein that group begins to tell the tale. A notion of the characters settling in to telling this story at this party. But by the time the story shifts to Christmas Past, (enter yours truly), a dark atmosphere is the general goal. Being unchangeable it could be argued, as we did today, that they past is in fact in some ways more depressing and dark than is the future. So I shall play the Ghost with that in mind.
After rehearsal, the real fun began. Those of us who could stay, (sadly, not many), travelled the three blocks down to the new theatre, to begin construction work.
My main goal was to be able to help tear down some remaining walls. But it was not to be, as they were not ready to come down today. So I found myself using table saws and electric drill/screwdrivers for the first time (consistently) since my college theatre days. Back when every actor was essentially pulling double duty as a tech crew and a set builder.
I was uncertain about power tools in college most of the time until near the end of a project, when momentum sort of pushed me into being more tolerant of them. And after about a half an hour of drilling and lumber selection and measuring, (under very precise directions from someone who knew what i was supposed to do), it begun to come back to me. I was drilling and sawing up to my optimum proficiency, (about that of an average 13 year old girl) in no time.
By the end of this ordeal, (carrying in the back of my mind strong memories of doing this sort of stuff for which I had a lukewarm view), I had helped construct two monstrous risers on which to mount the seats of the house when all is said and done.
Sawdust and shrill noises, and having no clue what to do unless somebody tells me. I half expected my theatre professor to round a corner and ask me if I needed something to do...
Tomorrow is another work/rehearsal day. This time construction in the morning. Don't think I will make it very early this time. So maybe the one wall will be gone by the time I arrive.
If not, I have a hammer in my bag.