Well, the rehearsal journal has been neglected! Time to catch up! We’re in previews now, we’ve had two of them, and they’re going well.
Why the big gap in writing, you may ask?
Not only are the actors and I putting the play together, but at the same time the staff and volunteers and I are getting the building ready for people. And for a week or so, that became amazingly time consuming. Work on the building in the morning, rehearse afternoon/evening, work on the building at night! The last few projects (get a fire-separation hallway wall built and drywalled, install a couple of fire doors) suddenly multiplied into a few more projects of equal size and importance. We managed to get everything done to our inspector’s satisfaction with the help of some amazing volunteers (special thanks to Tim, Jim, Dave, Frank, Barb, Gwen, Brian, Russ, Brad, Kate, Cary, Dominic and Bob!) Well, almost everything: We have a 14 day grace period to get a couple of things done, like a small wall in the barrier-free bathroom and an adjustment to our outside emergency light. So, we’re nearly there on the building!
With the play itself, it’s been a whirlwind of a week! One week ago today we were finishing the tech rehearsal of the show, doing our first tech run in the theatre. Since then, the cast has taken some great steps. In Act I we’re having a great time finding and fine-tuning the relationship between these two people. There’s a wonderful sense of need and urgency from these characters, and as we fine tune their journey of opening up with each other we’re having a great time. Along with that, I’m polishing a few staging moments during these previews that I’m not yet happy with – there are some visual things I’m trying to open up to the audience and still provide that sense of reality for the characters. That’s one of the great challenges I love about a 3/4 thrust stage – the intimacy of the space is marvelous, and yet at the same time it really forces you to be inventive as you make sure the key moments can be seen by everyone – but you don’t want to keep repeating yourself in the staging, either!
Previews have been a great experience so far. Audiences have been very responsive, and a couple of great suggestions have come from the crowd. I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend.
A quick note – Dennis posted the last entry, and made a great point; the place is really beginning to feel like a home. It’s an amazing thing to see and feel, and a lot of it is due to the cast, production team and volunteers. Getting this show up, and everything that involved, has been a joy so far – even drywalling at 2am has been a labor of love. There are parts of the building and show that are absolutely perfect, and parts that we’d love to do more with but just don’t have the resources right now. That’s okay. That’s a good thing. That’s where we are, right now, and it’s a lot further than we were a month ago – and it’s not nearly as far along as we’ll be in another month. But it’s a beginning. And, from my vantage point, it looks like a very good one!
More later- and sooner, this time, too!