And they’re off….

January 25, 2007

The first day of rehearsal is a day full of excitement and anticipation. It’s the first time the cast and crew gather and begin their collaborative journey. As an actor, I met my fellow players – some I have worked with before, some I knew but have not yet worked with, and some I was meeting for the very first time. It was also the first time for the director and designer to share their thoughts on the play, and the physical world that will be created within the theatre space for our production of Macbeth. What was interesting, and not all that common for productions, was that most of us (actors) had all had our first costume fittings before this meeting. So, individually, we had an idea of what our character would be wearing, and how our characters were seen thru the eyes of the costume designer (Jessica Ford) before our first rehearsal as a group. As I said, not a common practice, but a treat, or a teaser, at least.

Back to the excitement of the first day….
One of the things I love about theatre is the collaboration. At the meet and greet you go around the room and introduce yourself as actor, designer, stage manager, business manager, education director, technical director, etc. As the design presentations ensue, the physical world of the production take shape. We gather, chat briefly, then break. Some of these people I won’t see again until we move into the theatre space a month from now. Tim (Tim Catlett, the Technical Director) is going to go build the set that Marjorie (Marjorie Bradley Kellogg, the Scenic Designer) designed, Jessica (Jessica Ford, the Costume Designer) and Darcy (Darcy Devens, the Assistant Costume Designer) are going to keep plugging away at the costumes, Marci (Marci Card, the Propmaster) is hunting for props – what she can’t find she’ll build, and while all this is going on in shops and offices, the actors, director and stage managers are going to meet six days a week to make this amazing play come off the page and on the stage, full of life…..WOW!!!!!

The first read…
After the meet and greet and the design presentations, came one of the most exciting moments in any production – the first read-thru of the play. Finally, there were more people reading the play than just me. I could see and hear all of the personalities and nuances of the characters. There are people to talk to, people to connect with — already, relationships are developing and the energy is high. Many challenges lie ahead, but I was thriving, even sitting around the table reading the play, already caught up in a crazy world of a cursed play, and my pulse quickened, my heart raced, at times it broke – and it all serves to remind me of the power of Shakespeare’s amazing plays, and the responsibility that I have as an actor, to this great play. The power of words, these words – the images they conjure – the actions they inspire – the relationships they form – the fear and superstition they create – and the madness and chaos that ensues in this brutal, tragic world. Needless to say, I’m very excited to be on our way.


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