12
Sep
07

In Costume

Friday we moved into our dressing rooms to start the first of several days in our costumes for tech rehearsals.  Jessica Ford designed our costumes and has given us some marvelous garments in which to live the lives of our characters on stage.  The silhouette of the period is relatively simple but the fabrics are rich and sumptuous with broad geometric designs and deep jewel tone colors.  As most of us are playing both high-born and low-born characters she’s helped us a great deal by making the lines between the upper and lower classes very distinguishable in the clothing.  The play is set in winter so there are also many layers, and while these layers make the clothes very realistic they also presented their own particular obstacles as the week went on. 

 We started with the play’s Prologue and began slowly working our way through the show.  This is when the lights and sound cues are programed and Lesley our stage manager composes her “bible” from which she’ll call the play every single night.  Being live there are never two shows exactly alike but once we set our points and hit our marks night after night there will, ideally, only ever be a few minutes difference in the running time of the show each night.  Even though, during tech, we make entrances again and again, stand on stage for long periods of time, and practice our costume changes there are still some opportunities to explore our characters and refine our performances.  In addition to everything else she had to deal with Susan was still able to watch our work and help us along with her notes.

After two days of tech rehearsals we were able to get through the entire play in only seventeen hours.  The spacing rehearsals were a huge help with cutting the time down on this process.  By the end of Sunday we were able to run the entire play from beginning to end with sets, costumes, and lights.  It felt nice to get back to the play, and though it was rough, it was empowering to tell our story with the help of our fantastic designers and technicians.

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