January 27, 2011

Getting Out of Town

I call this: On the Road Again,theatre — Posted by KP @ 7:05 pm

Today is suitcase-packin’ day. I imagine that holds true for many of my traveling companions as well.

We had our final performance of Romeo and Juliet here at the Guthrie (we did an 8-show week of it, Friday thru Thursday). This morning we had a student matinee, and now that we are mercifully are done with brush-up rehearsals, we were able to do the show and go home! I tried not to celebrate that fact too much during the show, as the crew is busily changing over from R&J to Comedy of Errors today and tomorrow. The R&J set will be piled up again upstage, and last I heard the plan was to have the truck come in around 2:00 on Sunday and the set would be loaded during the evening performance of Comedy, so that we don’t have to load both sets at the end of the night. The Comedy set has been hanging around in the wings and upstage, mostly intact. Meaghan and I have been using the tower that’s stored in our corner as a coat rack and I’ve made the counterweight for said tower into my computer desk on numerous occasions. I made a brief attempt to lie down on the pile of Comedy flooring between shows last weekend, but it was rather uncomfortable. But now it’s time for it to go back to work. The R&J set is far less useful in its storage position.

Meaghan and I will go in at an earlier but still reasonable hour for tomorrow night’s show. Well Meaghan will go in early to check spike marks, props and safety stuff — I will go in a little later mostly out of sympathy, and to do my usual load-in job, which I have given the very honest name of “That Looks Like Ass / That Looks Dangerous,” because all I do is walk around the theatre looking out for anything that fits either of those criteria. I even found one this morning, when doing my pre-R&J ritual of walking up the balcony stairs and down the escape stairs just before opening the house. I’m mostly looking for tools, actors’ belongings, or anything that might have been left behind on the stairs, but in this case I found the escape stairs unusually dark, and discovered that the ancient half-dead ropelight running up the railing had completely given up the ghost, and it was replaced during half hour.

Now I’m at home, and have been tidying up my apartment in preparation for our departure. We have a special treat this year — we’re leaving on Monday morning like the actors, instead of Sunday night right after load-out, because we have a short drive to Brainerd and then a day off (where we wouldn’t have a hotel room until Monday night). So we get an extra day in our nice apartments instead of a night sleeping on the bus, and can begin our first load-in of the spring tour like civilized people who have showered.

When a time such as this comes after a long sit-down, a couple days in advance I move my suitcase out of whatever dark corner it’s been living in and start putting things away in it, to get a first taste of what will fit and what may not. I’ve already put away some of the clothes that I know I won’t wear again (some that I haven’t worn at all since we got here two months ago, because they’re not climate-appropriate), and I’m making a list in OmniFocus of things I can’t pack yet as I think of them (especially the ones that are less obvious, like my supplies in the laundry room).

I wasn’t sure if I’d have enough unnecessary stuff accumulated that I should mail a package home. As it turns out, it seems unnecessary. I only have a few things, which can probably go in my suitcase without causing a huge pain, or could live on my shelf in the workbox (I got my shelf back today now that I banished the unused company manager printer to a spare road box).

So my preparations are done for the day. I’m going to spend part of the time between now and tomorrow night’s show finishing typing the rest of the cues in my Comedy calling script (I did the first 13 shows with only the most complicated sequences typed out, and the rest still handwritten), and creating the alternate first and last pages to be used in the venues where we don’t use a house curtain (which may start with Brainerd).

R&J was very easy to get back into after 2 months away, since it all came flooding back from 100-something prior performances. It will be interesting to see how I feel about Comedy after a week off. I think putting the cues in the script will serve as a good reminder. And honestly aside from five very difficult minutes, it’s incredibly simple to call.