Last weekend was tech.
That’s when all the technical aspects of the play have to be worked out and assigned. In other words, all the stuff we've been saying "we'll get to it," well, now we have to actually get to it. Because my play takes place in the pressbox of a baseball stadium there needs to be crowd background, cheering and booing at various times. In short, there are over 100 sound cues and 47 light cues.
Cricket, our sound designer, built all the cues on her laptop. How did they do this for OKLAHOMA? All of the sound and light cues get built into one computer program and during the performance our stage manager, Emyli just plays the cues in order. What this requires of course is someone with experience and great concentration. I must say, I’ve been super impressed by the craftsmanship and dedication of everybody on the production staff. This is a small theatre. No one is getting rich. And yet everyone is pouring their hearts and souls into the production. There really are still people who do it for the art. I’m even more touched because I’m reading the book on CAA where no one does anything for the art. It’s all about money, power, and fame. (I’m enjoying the book but have to take a shower after each chapter.)
For the actors it’s a lonnnnng day. Noon till 8:00 with a dinner break. Unlike previous rehearsals where they were doing scenes straight through; now they’re starting and stopping random segments multiple times. For a large percentage of the day they just stood in place as the lighting and sound was constructed around them. Acting is HARD. Then you add memorization and the tedious process of tech. It’s a real good bet you’ll never see me star in one of my plays.
And for the director, Andy Barnicle, he has to tie it all together, convey his personal vision, and keep a constant eye on the clock. You’d be shocked how fast five hours go by during tech.
On Sunday the cast did two full run-throughs with all the sounds and cues, along with notes in between. We’re almost there.
And now the part where unexpected things happen. Arnold Palmer passed away on Sunday. And in the play there are two pages of jokes about Arnold Palmer and his drink. Not derogatory jokes mind you, but still, in light of his just passing I didn’t feel it was appropriate to do any jokes. “Too soon” as they say. So I had to go home Sunday night, scramble, and write a whole new two page scene. I think it works, but I haven’t seen it in front of an audience yet. You come and decide.
This week the set is being painted and final touches are being applied in all departments. Last night and tonight are Dress Rehearsals. Next up, YOU. Thanks for coming along on this journey. It’s not Moss Hart saving a play in New Haven (see the book ACT ONE), but it is the process and very exhilarating.