Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tech begins today

Sorry I’ve been so out of touch: rehearsals have kept me hopping!

The process of unfolding, discovering and crafting this piece has been equal parts challenge and fun, and I wish I could’ve shared more with you over these weeks, but (with apologies to Las Vegas) what happens in rehearsal, stays in rehearsal. I can share that a few of our biggest challenges has been figuring out which characters know what at what point in the story, what makes each character tick and what the timeline of the story is. But directing a crackerjack cast like this makes it a lot easier. Working with this group of actors has been illuminating and wonderful: Sara Zientek soaks everything up like a sponge, Jonathan Wainwright is unbelievably incisive, Betsy Skowbo always brings in something new every day, and Drew Brhel and C. Michael Wright, being directors in their own right, bring an added perspective to their performances.

But today we head into tech, adding all the design elements. The set is installed in the space, the lights are hung, costumes are at the ready, more new props arrive every day, and sound will be added to the mix. In short, this is when everything begins to come together. All the work we’ve done in the rehearsal room finally mixes with the visual aspects of the piece. And, for myself, this is my favorite time in the process. As a director, the image or idea you have of the show finally begins to resolve itself into three dimensions and you begin to see all the collaboration of the many past months pay off. Concept meets rehearsal meets drawing board and we begin to put it all up today in expectation of an audience on Thursday night. It’s generally a slow process: actors are working hard to adjust to the new environment, designers are working as quickly as they can to get the look and sound of the play just right, and our technical staff (who are amazing!) are working to make sure everything runs smoothly and as designed. Working as fast as we can in four and a half days to move from rehearsal to finished world on stage can be an arduous process. Yet, the world of the play and the audience experience begin to form itself in front of our eyes and it is truly a magnificent experience.

See you at the theatre!