The first day at the Meet and Greet was quite confusing, as there were 2 full casts (All Your Questions Answered and Pump Boys & Dinettes), crews for each cast, plus the costume designers and costume shop manager, props, stage hands, lighting and sound design, and a number of assorted “interlopers” (cohorts and co-producers and board members, etc.). There were a LOT of people in that room! As we went around the room and introduced ourselves, I started to realize how many people it really takes to put on a show, much less two at one time!
When we broke out into separate casts and associates, I was able to wrap my head around who was in our cast, and how the rehearsals were going to work. The first step was introductions – of the cast to each other, as most of them didn’t know each other, and the director(s), writer, and the cohorts. Most of this cast appears to be college students, or just out of college, from the local area. They all seem really young! Following introductions, Sean launched right into a read-through of the script, not assigning any parts – just having the actors jump in as they saw fit. Really interesting, as none of the actors had seen the script, and didn’t necessarily know where a particular scene was going. It was fun listening in as they realized what was happening, and watching them react and alter their tone, facial expression, body language to fit the action. Fascinating how they were able to morph into someone/something else as the script revealed itself!
When I got home that afternoon, I was bombarded by a series of emails from the Assistant Director with notes from the rehearsal – probably not more than 15 minutes after the rehearsal ended. They dropped four of the original plays (all shorts) and added five others. She reported on the progress of the rehearsal and what was expected for the next day. She keeps meticulous notes, although I never actually saw her write anything down, so she either has an eidetic memory, or she’s very subtle with her note taking! She makes sure that when Sean says something, makes a suggestion, asks a question, or looks for a prop, sound cue, piece of music, etc., that he has what he wants by the next rehearsal. BIG JOB! She also makes sure the cast knows what time and where they are to report the next day, and generally makes sure that the day is organized.
This is probably old hat to those of you in the business, but to an interloper, it was all new to me! I’ve been around the theatre for a lot of years, now, and I really had no idea how it all works! I’m so looking forward to getting up to GEVA as often as I can for rehearsals, as this particular show is going to be changing from day to day, simply because it’s never been done before.
More next time.”