Okay, we at the Full Circle Theater Company will open A Thurber Carnival in exactly 3 weeks. That wasn't true during last night's rehearsal, but it is today as I write this.
I can say we are a tad behind. But in a total change of precedent, I do not feel we are as far behind as some others in the show feel. At least for this moment.
Yes, time is running short. And yes, some of the sketches are very rough right now. But I contribute the lack of expected progress to three things which, in theory, will not be there in about a week. At least hopefully.
1) A much larger than expected amount of time on the choreography for the tiny dance scene at the opening of the play.
2) The frequent, and indeed save one night, the constant absence of at least any given two actors for every rehearsal so far.
3) The inability to run the short skits in order, without int eruption, thus denying a certain flow to the production. (Based largely on a combination of the first two items on my list.)
But each of these skits is generally rather short. The longest, according to my informal timing, goes on about 10 minutes only. So once all the dance business is out of the way and everyone's schedule evens out, we can start working hard on actual acting. And when we do, I don't see any reason why we won't make rather rapid progress.
Last night we were missing three people for the first half of the evening. By 8, that number was down to two, but those two feature prominently in virtually every skit in Act I. (The ostensible goal of last night.) So there was much reading from the book and awkward movements while pretending people were there. (Something at which the cast is getting quite good in some cases by now.)
I did run "If Grant Were Drunk at Appomattox" for the very first time on stage, for only the second night anywhere. I am off book for that one. But not everybody is, and not everybody was present for that on. So it went roughly. So much so in fact the director decided that going through it again last night wouldn't be in anyone's best interests.
The other things I worked on last night were my smaller roles. (All of which come in Act I.) I am a narrator twice in Act I, and the role is very small in both. A few lines at most. (The Wolf at the Door and Gentleman Shoppers.) I also have a slightly larger role in the fable The Unicorn in the Garden. Despite many delays on that short piece in regards to "choreography" of one moment in it, that scene went well. Everybody is off book for that one. It's probably my personal favorite moment for Act I, as silly as it is.
At the end of the evening, I was surprised to find us running The Secret Life of Walter Mitty again. (Which is in Act II.) I knew for sure I would be much better the next time I ran in right after I finished it previously. (The night before.) But when I made that assumption, I didn't know we would be running it again the very next night. Nevertheless, it did go much better last night than the night before. I still have to nail down a stray line here and there, but I have no doubt that this one will get off the ground soon, at least for me.
Two people are still expected to be missing for Monday, so once again, progress will be limited. Plus I think it is a choreography day again. But as I said, by late next week, things should be falling into place. Yes, that will be cutting it close, and if we are not all in high gear for the coming week, we may be in mild trouble. But I feel high gear will be achieved on Monday and Wednesday, and indeed for the rest of the run. Let us hope, anyway.
I am not nervous at this time. I am 98% off book. And probably, when I get down to it, totally off book but for a few screw-ups.