Friday, February 12, 2016

"Side" Job

Last night a few of us met in the lobby of the theater, (the stage was being used for auditions) to review lines, and go over any trouble spots. There weren't many of us there, so what we could accomplish was limited.

But we did get something done. Those few of us who did share some dialogue decided to go over those sections a few times as a line review. We also had some short discussions about how to play the scenes going forward.

I'd have preferred a full-on extra rehearsal at this point, but a lot of community theater is working hard at what you have. Last night we had a chance to review only a few pages, and that's what we did.

It is in some way the essence of amateur/community/volunteer theatre. In most places there are hindrances, delays, setbacks. They can be frustrating, and at times they can cause the cancellation of a show. (To which we came close last week.) But there is appeal in the pastiche of schedules and efforts and ideas and available space that comes with such productions.

People stealing a few minutes to rehearse a difficult scene, or a huddled conversation back stage during dress rehearsals, resulting in a rough spot finally being ironed out after so many awkward attempts throughout the process. Meeting in homes, coffee shops, restaurants to get to know not only the show, but one another better.

It may or may not make for the most even show possible. But it indicates effort. It indicates that people care. When people care, good things happen in the arts. Sometimes the best of things happen.

Just about any other art is sloppy. Messes are made, and they can't always be cleaned up right away. But we work that corner of the canvas all morning, or tinker with that prologue during our lunch break at work. Certainly most people, myself included, would prefer neat, organized, predictable and consistent sessions to work on a play, (or anything else.) But absent of that, zero effort brings zero results, and I would much rather chip away at the boulder here and there until it cracks, than just look at how big the boulder is all day and wish it were not there.

Regular rehearsal tonight. It promises to be a longer than usual one to make up for some of what I talked about above. But I've always been all for long rehearsals, if something gets accomplished during the long period. I believe it will tonight.

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