Last night was by far our longest rehearsal. We got done at about 11PM. (After a few minors with restricted driver's licenses had to leave early.)
I haven't had a rehearsal that long and that late in years. But I have been involved in plenty of them, and judging by what was done and not done at this point in the production, I have been prepared for the possibility of a late one or two.
When things are getting accomplished, I don't really mind late rehearsals. And when a show is somewhat behind, as ours is, I welcome just about anything that will catch us up to where we need to be. All by way of saying, I wasn't too bothered by how late we were there last night, but I do think ti would have been better if we had been able to avoid it.
Yet there is so much technical stuff to do. We only had a set of any kind to work with two days ago. (Though we didn't rehearse that night...it was spent standing still on stage while light cues were programmed into the light board...something I believe the director didn't realize had yet to be done.) Plus our lead actress having missed so many rehearsals because of her schedule and such. Yesterday was the first time we had a running crew assembled, a partial set (they were still building it when we walked in), lights, music and sound. It's the sort of thing that has to be done correctly.
The tech crew, after all, was only just learning what their assignments were last night, as well. Important stuff, but time consuming.
I'd say most of the actors remained in good spirits about it though. Sometimes it required the aid of a little bit of goofing off, but that to me is okay. In fact, I think when kept in check such things can improve cast morale in difficult times, and make everyone more comfortable with one another, which in turn usually leads to better performances.
There is something to be said for being in the trenches, plodding through the same boredom and trying to work around so many other issues in a process like this. I don't want every night to be like that, but a few can loosen the gears a bit, and I think the last two nights have.
The key is that it can't be allowed to go too far for too long. We are in the final week of rehearsing, and it's time to have fun, yes, but also be aware of how close the hot seat is getting. (We open for a public preview one week from today!)
In theory tonight the set will be done. The light crew, and the running crew are at least familiar with their assignments. Nobody is allowed to call for lines anymore, as of tonight. Time to show what we are made of in this show. (Though tech issues I am sure will still slow us a bit.)
One fun thing to share about last night: I got a hat. Actually, I found a pile of hats the director had brought for us to look at. During a break I tried a few on, and came up with one I liked. (and one of the few that fit my melon of a head.) I'll be using it when I play the reporter character. (My "biggest" role, by stage time measures.)
I'll try to get a picture up for future updates.
For now, some dinner, and later we'll see how a lot of the elements I've talked about are coming together.