Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Impertinence of Blogging Earnest: Week 5 of rehearsals -- moving into the theatre.

Sometimes there's no better feeling than knowing you're going home. For a production, that means leaving a rehearsal space to take up residence in the theatre.

The cast, Brian Carless, Cameron Johnston and I had our final rehearsal in the old Teachers Delight space in Market Square on Elmwood Avenue on Sunday. The three-hour-long rehearsal was divided into hour-long segments; actors were divided into groups and worked either with Brian, Cameron or me during that time. Every hour, the groups changed. We touched-up smaller scenes and did detail work on characters and relationships. Although the rehearsal had been scheduled to be a run-through of the full show, I think a lot was accomplished by using the time like this. Thanks to Jessica Hoffmann for suggesting it during a previous rehearsal.

We moved to the Monon Depot Theatre on Monday night, the day after Children of Eden closed. Brian led a tour of the theatre so that the actors who are making their CYT debut -- Nate Denson, Zack Nantz and Jake Ott -- could become familiar with the space.

The rehearsals consisted mostly of full run-throughs of the show. I was gratified that the actors' first rehearsal in the theatre went well; sometimes when I'm acting in a strange environment it takes me a moment to adjust to the space. But the actors in The Importance of Being Earnest were in command of their actions, their lines and their characterizations. I hope that having run through the entire show a few times in Teachers Delight made the transition easier for the actors -- there were no questions about what scenes followed others because they were already familiar with the entire show. And familiarity brings confidence, I find.

Several people attended rehearsals last week; all the crew members were asked to attend at least one rehearsal before Tech Week so they could get an idea of what the show looked like, how the acts differed and get an idea as to the length of the play. On Wednesday, dramaturg Cody Walker shared several interesting facts about Victorian England and information found in Oscar Wilde's script. Also on Wednesday, Marcos Cisneros took photographs of the actors, which will appear on the callboard when the show opens. The costume crew also had full access to the Civic costume shop and found additional items for actors to wear. The week was filled with a lot of unusual activity and the actors were generally good in maintaining their poise.

Saturday and Sunday are the Build & Paint Days in the schedule. All of the cast and crew, plus their parents, were strongly encouraged to be at the Monon Depot Theatre in order to build the remainder of the set and paint the floors and walls; these are usually very time-consuming tasks for any production, and this will be no different. On Sunday, whatever work remains from Saturday will be completed, then we're on to our first rehearsal of Tech Week: actors will be wearing their full costumes, the sound cues and light cues will be executed for the first time, and the whole production will come together for the first time. It's going to be exciting.

And then next Friday ... Opening Night. Difficult to believe it's moved this fast, but it's finally here.

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