Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Two days to show time

I forgot what it was like.

Our daughter had her tech rehearsal for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat last night. I came to the theatre after working late and caught the last hour. What memories it brought back, and how proud and amazed I am to see this company working.

To someone who's never seen or been involved in a tech rehearsal before, it would look like they are in huge trouble. Everything is disconnected and awkward, and about 7 different layers of reality are all visible. Between Monday night and Thursday night's opening, those layers will laminate together into something beautiful. Watching, I was flooded with memories of tech nights for all of the community and school shows that I've been part of. It's pretty emotional that night when things get hustled from "almost" to "gotta do it." Faith, focus and hard work are required. And teamwork and trust.

What I saw last night was:
  • The voice of God (the director) starting and stopping and re-winding the show and ordering re-positioning from the sound booth.
  • The voice of Gabriel (lighting tech) from the catwalk "Sorry, I can't get that spot focussed any farther upstage. We'll have to try something else."
  • Actors stepping in and out of character to ask good questions about who's carrying what prop and how to arrange themselves.
  • Everyone getting used to moving from rehearsal space to the stage. The set is spectacular. It's a 25 foot high pyramid that does amazing things. Everyone has been imagining being 2 or 8 steps up or down, now they have to go 3-D and incorporate the actual elevation into their blocking and choreography.
  • Controlled mayhem - moments of mirth enough to keep everyone from exploding, but not to interrupt the work that was going on.
  • Reams of notes being taken by the assistant director. Yup 20 quires or more for sure.
  • A weird mish-mash of costume components. Like everyone was partway through metamorphosis.
  • Dancing, singing, entrances and exits ready and good.
  • Props that have been imaginary or substituted suddenly real and needing to be remembered. (If you leave your mime goblet off stage you can pretend you had it all along. Now you need to actually have it. When you're done with it, you have to figure out where it goes.)
  • Technical people staying calm in the middle of an overwhelming volume of things to do and remember and fix.
  • Beautiful music.
  • The kids are doing great. They were tired but they did their job and stayed focussed.
I'll be working as a choir chaperone for the second week of the run. Tonight I have to be part of the dress rehearsal and learn the show, so next week I can be responsible for getting the children's choir (20 performers) on and off stage, and supervised when they are waiting. I'll work one show later this week with the choir director to be sure I know what I'm doing, then I'm in there.

It's going to be great!

Question: How often do you get to see something like this?

mompoet: blessed

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