May 27, 2012

Triassic Parq – End of Week 2

I call this: theatre — Posted by KP @ 4:42 pm

Another week of rehearsal comes to an end. Most notably during this week, I discovered the technique of measuring scenic drawings on a computer screen.

Yes it worked, and I didn’t even have to set my zoom level to something like 87.3% to get it to the right scale. There are old-fashioned ways of making theatre, like using a scale ruler to measure large rolled-up drawings that you keep in a corner behind your desk, and there are newfangled technological ways, like Vectorworks. And then there’s holding a ruler up to a PDF. Which also, apparently, works, at least for simple questions like “is the actual bench taller or shorter than the block we’re using in rehearsal?”

Our goal before we started was to have the show staged by the end of Week 2. I’m pleased to say that we made our goal half a day early. And it wasn’t one of those race-to-the-finish-line kind of processes where we just staged the show as fast as possible before going back and making it good. We took a lot of time along the way, and reviewed periodically, so not only does it exist on paper, but people actually know what they’re doing and have retained it.

Now we’re going back and doing what I would normally describe as “table work,” although in this case it’s more “sit in a circle work,” which is one of my favorite parts in the process. It’s sadly one that often gets skipped on a musical, because there’s just so much else to do in a limited amount of time. But it’s great that now that we have a solid sense of the big picture, we can go back and really explore what’s going on in individual moments, and apply that to the existing staging. We only had time to do that with two scenes yesterday, but it made an immediate difference.

I’m really excited to see what else comes out of these discussions. Between this and some improv exercises, a really detailed history has been created for the dinosaur community, to fill in the questions not explained directly in the script. Since most audience members probably aren’t familiar with the tribal structure that arises in the average genetically-engineered dinosaur park, I think this will help give a more complete picture of the world they’re stepping into (and speaking of stepping into, if you really want to step into this world, I recommend the onstage seating).

I’m still having a great time. My stage management team, which still doesn’t have a catchy dinosaur name, is still being amazing. They track the props, they look out for costume issues, they print and distribute the script updates, they ask the studio staff to crank the AC, they fill the water bottles, they get the coffee, and they keep the entire room fed with chocolate-covered small food items (espresso beans being the recent favorite). And a million other things expected and unexpected throughout the process.

From what we’re being told about ticket sales, we’re building an impressive advance, but for an Off-Broadway show to have any kind of advance is impressive. It’s really hard to get the word out before the show is open and people are seeing it. For that reason, I can’t wait till we start previews, because I think it will exceed expectations and I hope that people start to get excited about it.

If you’re in New York this summer, and you want to be like, “I read this cool website about stage management, and I knew this show was going to be amazing before anyone else,” you can buy your tickets now. And because you read this cool website, you now also know that to get 30% off tickets, you should use the discount code TPDINOS.

We ended our week with nearly everyone from the rehearsal room going out for dinner and drinks afterwards. It was a great way to celebrate the end of our second week, and the accomplishment of our staging milestone. On Wednesday we have a small press event during rehearsal. Due to what can only be described as awesome luck, we move into the theatre on Thursday. Tech starts next Tuesday. So excited!