So it begins. I just got back from the first read-through for "Heaven Can Wait" at the Academy Theatre in Hagerstown. I guess I am now officially a Potomac Playmaker. At least until May.
If I am not mistaken only one or two people were missing. A few were late. Of the people there, I recognized virtually all of them from last week's auditions. Each playing the role that seems to have suited them best.
And what an eclectic group it is, too. Published authors. Radio personalities. Television voice over professionals. Public defenders. Wide range of ages. And several, like myself, who had never done anything at this theatre or with this company before. A few have never done theatre at all before, or at least not for many years.
I admit I was actually a tad more nervous headed into today than I was for the audition, given my lack of familiarity with anyone or anything associated with this production. (Script included.) But I felt more at ease as we did the requisite, "go around the circle and tell us a little about yourself.)
Said circle consisted of some chairs and tables from backstage that I helped bring out onto the stage before rehearsal. (I was one of the first people there.)
The performance space and the back stage area are quite nice. A bit tight backstage, though that is with the current set that is still up from the previous show. So there could be more, but still not as much as many theatres I have been in.
Nice shop, and storage. Excellent looking light instruments, from my non-technical point of view. I will be taking pictures at some point and see if I can post them here.
As for the reading itself, we weren't expected to do a whole lot of acting tonight. No notes or directions were given, to that end. Nonetheless, I found my lines truly did lend themselves quite well to the smariness the director mentioned I had when I auditioned. He does appear to be quite the sleaze, which is the sense I got based on what little of his lines I read for the audition. So I am already getting an outline sketch of how I'd like to play the character. It is my hope that what I am starting to sense is consistent with the director's vision.
The role itself I would say is medium sized as far as total lines. (I had not read the whole script until tonight.)
Having now read the whole script, the hurdle of "cold" is over. I have now delivered each of my lines for the first time. And I have experienced the story as a whole. Now that I have, I think I may catergorize it more as a fantasy than as a dark comedy. There are some dark comic elements, of course, and there are some funny moments, but I really think the entire play is more focused on the supernatural, and on human nature, than on the laughs. But I suppose that is up to an audience to decide.
It's also in three acts, which is quite uncommon anymore. But we only have one intermission, so it will still feel like two.
One decision that was made was to change the rehearsal schedule from Monday, Wednesday and Friday, to Monday, Thursday and Friday until tech week. I like this, actually. The chance to rehearse two nights in a row some weeks provides momentum I think will serve us, and at least me, well.
I have just over 3 weeks to get off book. I will be starting on that tomorrow. I feel it's doable. It will have to be of course.
I don't report for rehearsal on Thursday, so I will not be back until Friday. I look forward to it, to getting to know my cast mates, and getting to know the rhythm of The Potomac Playmakers way.