We've got them, at last.
There is a lot of construction work left to do in a short amount of time over at the Black Box Arts center, where I'm appearing in Macbeth right now. A lot of stuff, junk and important, covers just about every corner of the place during this remodel. But, to my own relief, and without a doubt to that of others, the new entrance/exit aisles for the performance space have been cleared of debris, and we were able to use them tonight for the first time.
Things went a lot better, needless to say.
Tonight we went through the first half of the show again, and though there were problems, it clearly went smoother than it did the last time we ran it, earlier this week. You'd be silly to conclude that being able to move freely throughout the actual stage and aisles didn't have a lot to do with that. In theatre, things that don't seem connected actually have quite the impact on one another. Lines come easier when you can move as you are supposed to. Character development happens more rapidly when you don't have to worry about stepping over things backstage before you even go on. Flow. It's crucial to a show improving, and being the best it can be. Having the new aisles available for the first time tonight drastically improved the flow of the show.
(Not that I didn't flub a line here and there. I did. But it feels like the kind of flubs that will become less and less likely as time goes on now.)
As for the venue, chairs, or representations of same, were in place tonight as well, to show just exactly where the audience will be sitting under this new layout. The theatre goes from an intimate 100 seat theatre to a more intimate 46(ish) seat theatre. So it will now seat a lot fewer people, and plenty of those people will be a lot closer to the actors. I said before that I am not in love with all of the sudden changes to the space, but I am glad we are getting closer to what it will truly be like. And while it may not have been how I would have chosen to remodel the space, right now it feels that it will, for the most part, work.