Moving On

Today was our last day in the rehearsal hall. We began the day with some scenework, then had a lunch break. When we came back from lunch we had a fight call, and then a run-through. The last one in street clothes. And let me tell you, we were tired. It’s been a long week of working scenes punctuated by run-throughs, with the occasional four hour combat rehearsal thrown in. I’m a more than ready for tomorrow’s day off.* And when I come back, it’ll be to theatre, and some adjustments will have to be made.

Leaving the rehearsal hall is always a bittersweet proposition for me. At this point in the process, I’m generally ready to see what the lights and sound and sets and costumes will add, and I’m excited to take those next steps. I’ve only seen renderings of the set,** and know much less about the lighting, but the costume crew has been diligently working, without sleep in some cases, to get everything looking appropriately medieval, and the sound we’ve heard so far has been outstanding, so I know there’s plenty to be excited about.

I’ll miss, though, the freedom afforded by the rehearsal hall. While acting exploration will continue (and Stephen encourages that much), blocking will have to be set in order for the scenes to be properly lit. Our incredible stage management staff will be using everything we do on stage to call all the technical cues for the show,*** so while we need to remain vibrant and alive, we also need to make sure that things remain relatively consistent. It’s a delicate balance, really. And in fact, we will continue to evolve and grow over the course of next week, and all through the run. (As Steve says, “You never really stop working on the moments of a show, you just run out of time.”) We’ll just have to do it within a set framework.

The technical rehearsal period that begins Tuesday will be a long, grueling one. Equity allows two ten-out-of-twelves per rehearsal process. This means two rehearsals for the entire show can be ten hours out of a twelve hour call. Most productions reserve this time for technical rehearsals, though when you use these rehearsals is not stipulated. For comparison, the normal rehearsal day is seven hours out of an eight and a half hour call (requiring a 1.5 hour dinner break), but the company can vote to waive the hour and a half in favor of an hour, in order to shorten the day. So till now, we’ve been working 12-8pm every day, with an hour meal break. We will, as is normal, be spending both ten-out-of-twelves next week, during tech. Our rehearsal schedule for next week is as follows:

Tuesday 3-11:30

Wednesday 12-12

Thursday 12-12

Friday 1:30-5, Preview at 7:30

Saturday Work notes as needed in the afternoon, open at 7:30

And that is all the time the tech crew gets to rehearse. So, of course this week will be less about us (we’ve had four weeks already!) and more about putting it together. That’s just the way it works. There will be a good deal of time spent waiting for cues to be worked, and various technical elements to be finessed. Plus, we’ll need to work out exactly how everything fits into this new space. Since we’ve all just been imagining it this whole time, certainly some bits of staging will need to be rearranged. Again, par for the course.

And something to both look forward to, and in a way, dread just a little.



* I will be spending the day back in Chicago, visiting my wife, who has just returned from a holiday in Rio de Janeiro (!)

** Audience view

*** From a monitor, no less. The booth will be walled in, so Lesley will be calling the show via closed circuit.


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