It’s been awhile since I wrote one of these, since I’ve been busy with work, rehearsal, and school. In fact, we’re already past the first weekend of performances and moving right along into the second.
The remaining rehearsals were a time of steady improvement. We continued to do one act per day up until the last Friday before tech week, on which we ran the whole play. Saturday was a work call day; some people helped dismantle the set at the Wendy Williamson Auditorium, move it to the APU Grant Hall, and rebuild it. I went to the later work call at the TBA studio, where I helped with costumes. I learned how to add ribbon to things; as a result of my inexperience, it took me way longer to do the task I was given than I had hoped. However, I was surrounded by friends engaged in other needlework projects with whom to chat. It was a great way to end the week.
Tech week was brutal — but then, it always is. The week before a show opens is all about melding cast performances with costume and sound cues and lighting and the set and hoping that everything meshes together the way it’s supposed to. The process is made more interesting by the fact that it’s the first time the cast gets to rehearse on stage, as well. Before that, we were practicing in the TBA studio, which is a considerably smaller working space and where the set was represented by tape on the floor.
In short, tech week necessitates a lot of adjustments.
As Shane put it, it’s no longer the actors’ time to grow; everyone stops caring about the actors during tech week because it’s when the other artists involved in the production get to focus on getting their parts right. And things evolved quite a bit over the course of the week. That evolution was perhaps easiest to see in the development of our costumes. Charlotte and her team of costumers ran themselves ragged finishing up our garb. (And they did a fabulous job! I less than three them.)
Tech week is exhausting for everyone, really. After our school performances that Thursday, we had no evening show, so I went home and took a nap. A six-hour nap. After which I only went to bed an hour late. I got a LOT of sleep that day.
The TBA in TBA Theatre stands for Training Better Artists. The staff are devoted to both helping people improve their theatre skills and encouraging youth to take interest in the arts. To the latter end, every play they put on has school-day performances on Thursday and Friday which are set up specifically for grade school (K-12) field trips.
Due to the limitations of bus transportation schedules, we are unable to give them the full two-and-a-half hour performance. We have to cut out a lot of the show and forego an intermission for the school performances. This has a couple of unfortunate side effects. The school audiences miss out on some good songs sung by good singers, for one. And for another, while we still give the audiences our all, the missing scenes make it more difficult to really get into the moment later — both for the audience and the actors. It’s just a shame. :(
What can I say? The cast is fantastic, the set, lighting, and costume crews have outdone themselves… the show rocks. I’m so glad to be a part of it. It makes me sad that the copyright contract forbids us to record the show, ’cause I want to take it with me. The show closing this weekend is going to be one of the saddest things that’s ever happened to me.