13
Mar
08

Cramming. (notes from tech)

Hi.
So Cymbeline has made it to tech week.  Or tech week-and-a-half, actually.  And not yet actually tech yet.  We get two days’ reahersal in the performance space before costumes, lights, sound, etc. join the fray.  Bonus time to reconfigure staging, get accustomed to sight lines, get comfortable in the space, and run the show in full.  “Spacing” it’s called.

But not spacing as in zoning out or going catatonic, which is always a potential during tech week when there’s a hold to fix something involving electricity or fabric, and it’s not your scene and you can only wait backstage for an indeterminate lenght until it is your scene and they call hold again and you get to space out onstage. 
No.  It’s not that.  Not for me.  This tech week I will be cramming.  Learning Posthumus’s lines and closely watching his blocking, which I currently only have a tenuous-at-best grasp on.  Understudy rehearsals are in less than two weeks, and with everything else swirliong around, I’ve got to make use of my down time to drill the part into my head. 
It’s also time to find Wayne and discuss appraoaches to Posthumus, so that when those understudy rehearsals roll around, I’m doing something resembling playing Posthumus, not merely reciting his lines. 
(I’ll chalk up the conversation I had last night with Wayne surveying the breadth and uses of British slang  as a study break.)

Spacing also involves fitting ourselves into the space.  Despite being in the studio space, many of our costumes are enormous.  I have to time an entrance as Lord the Second very carefully so as not to step on John Michalksi as Cymbeline’s lengthy train and reverse-clothesline him.  Cloten/Foust is wearing a fantastique headpiece that makes him over a foot taller, requiring extra attention at all times and especially when he’s under The Tree (more on that to come).  And of course, there are swords on many of our hips, which potentially could noisily scrape along walls or stab people in the shins. 
Stomping along the hall under the stage with fellow Lord T. Stacy Hicks last night, we passed by some performers from Skylight Opera, whom we are sharing the building with at the moment, and I imagined what dorks they must think us as we traipse about with our tools of the trade…”Oh, there go those Men With Swords again…”
All dorkiness aside, I find myself reminiscing to last season’s 1 Henry IV, even unsheathing my sword and running through the fights from that show during breaks in the Cymbeline action.  When I should be cramming.

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