I am off book. I still think I will probably have to call for a line here and there, but perhaps not. Either way, I am off book for both acts now. No small feat considering that for most of this weeks I have been combating some kind of cold/fever.
Which brings me to Wednesday's rehearsal. I once again had a bit of a cough and some aches to deal with while practicing, but with two days off during which to heal, it seems, (knock on wood) that I kicked most of it away. I am not 100% well again, but I have no fever, and the aches have diminished today. I slept better last night, and I seem to be on the mend.
As for the show, it has some mending of its own to do.
Not everybody was able to be off book for last night's Act Two rehearsal, despite it being the deadline. So there were some books out. A minor problem, really. At least at this point. As an actor during rehearsal, I would rather have everyone else on stage able to deliver most of their lines without struggles so I can deliver mine, then having to have them call for most of their lines during a scene. The off book question at this point is more of a director's concern than a fellow actor's. So it is what it is. I am only responsible for my own progress, and I did get through the act without calling for any lines for the first time.
Many that were off book though did call for lines, or otherwise needed some time to recall them. Because of this, I have often noted that despite it being later in the process, the first off book rehearsal regresses a bit when it comes to impact and actual performances. A step or two backward as people adjust to not having the books in their hands. The adjustment is usually made quickly, when all hands are dedicated, so I don't expect it to have a lasting impact, but it did make some exploration of nuance with and between characters less accessible to us all that night.
But the bigger issue for me last night was the rearranging of some furniture. It does clear up some sight lines, which is good. But I know I missed several of my furniture moving responsibilities during the scene changes last night. In Act Two I seem to do the lion's share of the furniture moving for a certain stretch and it is a lot to commit to memory. Obviously I have not done so successfully as of now. But it should be easier now that I am not also trying to commit lines to memory as much every day.
We didn't run at full speed for the entire act, as there are still issues to be worked out. I am however getting enough of an idea as to where my props and costumes need to be back stage in order to pull off my transitions on cue.
We began to run the act the second time, but ran out of time. The plan tonight is to run through those parts of Act Two we did not get to during last night's second run through of same, and then flip to the top of the show and run all of Act One. Which I welcome, due to it's more relaxed pace.
That pace in fact will be even more relaxed today, because one minor, mysterious character has at last been added to our regular rehearsals. A boy, and figment of Dickens imagination, is part of select scenes, including the very opening. The actor playing this role has heretofore practiced with the actor playing Scrooge during separate sessions. But from here on out, he will be with the entire cast during rehearsals.