May 16, 2012

First Week of Rehearsal

I call this: theatre — Posted by KP @ 11:20 pm

We’re midway through our first week of rehearsal of Triassic Parq now. And mercifully, I am finally only working on one production, and able to devote all my time to it. Which means occasionally having time for blogging what I hope will be a very interesting process.

To recap, I spent last week in the office. I have an army of assistants on this show: my ASM Ashley, (who you may recall from the time I spent at the Guthrie in 2010, and my recent reading with The Old Globe this spring), and interns Carly and Sarah. At least one of them was always in the office, so I had lots of help printing and organizing paperwork, making Staples runs, attending meetings, trying kneepads on visiting actors, and a bunch of other random things that came up. We also found a few occasions to have lunch or dinner together as a stage management team, to get to know each other and figure out how we’re going to divide up the work.

This past Monday we began rehearsal. Our meet & greet, Equity meeting, and read-through went very smoothly, and with the pressures of putting on a punctual and organized first rehearsal for our assembled guests out of the way, we got down to the business of learning music for the rest of that day, and the following day.

Today was our first day of staging, and it was a lot of fun. I’ve probably said it a million times, but I hate taking blocking. However, I actually had a pretty good time with it today. By the end of the day I was feeling a little fried, as I’m sure the actors also were by having to retain so much new choreography, as well as lyrics and notes, but I really enjoyed seeing the show take shape, and tried to put all of my concentration into learning the show (even the choreography, which I usually leave to the dance captain, and don’t try to memorize or document down to every count). You may know that I don’t have a great track record of successful open runs or transfers. I have a strong feeling that this is the show that has a serious shot at being a hit, and I’m putting my all into treating it as such from a stage management perspective.

As always, I was dreading taking blocking, up until the point where I had to put pencil to paper to scrawl down the starting positions of the cast for their first entrance. It’s amazing how much more important and engaging it can feel when there’s at least a possibility that the blocking you take might need to be passed on to a successor, or used in staging a future production. There’s a lot that would need to happen before that becomes a reality, but then it would be a little late to decide to take good blocking, so I’m just going to assume that I’ll want all my notes to be as detailed as possible.

After rehearsal we had our third production meeting. We have been meeting regularly on Wednesdays since two weeks before rehearsal began, which I think is rather dedicated of us. We also have a meeting next Wednesday, and that will probably be our last one, as we move into the theatre a little more than a week after that, at which point we’ll be meeting daily. Our previous meetings have been well over an hour. This one was much shorter, more of a check-in, and as usual filled with people in good spirits, displaying a lot of enthusiasm for putting this show together.

I’m very excited to share more about the process as it progresses!

I leave you with a photo of our rehearsal room, which is actually within a couple inches of the width of the stage at Soho Playhouse (lazy stage managers, rejoice!). Also, that may be the most obnoxiously-placed rehearsal room column I’ve ever seen. It has, however, justified the presence of four stage managers in the room, as we all have a slightly different angle to report to each other what’s going on on the other side of the column.

1 Comment »

  1. I hate taking blocking notes too!



    Comment by Lisa — August 20, 2014 @ 10:51 am

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