Monday, July 26, 2010

Hell Week

So, sorry for being so un-wordy (yes, that is a word) for the last week or so, but tech and then previews and then opening have utterly kicked my ass. Geeze, where to begin.

Well, tech in professional theater is even worse than tech in college, which I didn't know was possible. There are these things called "ten out of twelves" that we had a three times in tech where you rehearse from noon to midnight with a two hour dinner break somewhere in there. It was really slow going. The whole process reminded me of something I heard someone say about war once: long periods of boredom punctuated by brief moments of utter terror. There were parts where the interns weren't needed for hours at a time, but you couldn't ever go relax because you could be needed at any moment. By the end of the first 10/12 we were all a bit twitchy at loud noises. Also, unlike the rest of the company interns have class at 9 AM every day, so we're there from 9 AM to midnight.

Thus ends the complaining portion of our program.

Because the show. The show. You guys. It is so good.

The pieces have all fallen into place, nudged there over the course of the past month and it all just clicked, beautifully, to show the whole picture. For example: there was a bit of a fiasco with these tapestries that are supposed to unfurl in this scene change to Philip's room in the castle. It's this huge change, conducted by Philip himself, that transforms the whole place from stark, spartan Henry-Land to opulent Philip-Land. We have had so much trouble with these tapestries.

These bars are supposed to go up in the scene change and then the tapestry falls over it to create this hiding place where Geoffrey goes in the middle of the scene. The bars didn't go up. Olivia, our stage management intern, ran backstage to catch Aaron (who plays Geoffrey) to tell him what had happened. The tapestry covers the bars completely, and she was sure he would just walk straight into the solid metal bars when he was trying to hide. So Olivia comes booking down the ramp that leads into the back of the vom and trips and falls on the incline, doing a face-plant at the feet of Aaron and Marco, much to their surprise. She pops up and gasps out "AARON, THE BARS DIDN'T GO UP" and then notices her knees are skinned beyond belief. Aaron is a tad bewildered and thanks her, and decides to hide behind the other tapestry in the remaining two seconds he has to think before he goes onstage.

Now here's the kicker: this scene has all the makings of a French farce. All the brothers are hiding in the room while Henry and Philip have a long conversation about them. The spot where Aaron would have been? The one with the bars closing it off? The tapestry dropped and revealed everything behind it. If he'd been hiding where he normally was, Henry would have seen him. Moral of the story? Bad luck plus more bad luck equals good luck and a story.

So that happened. And then every night in tech and previews at least one of the three tapestries didn't work at all. The last piece of the puzzle fell into place just on opening night. We watched from the vom as all the tapestries fell into place and lo: it was good.

Everything's in place now, and I can focus on La Ronde. But that's another entry.

1 comment: