January 16, 2013


I call this: theatre — Posted by KP @ 3:57 pm

Silence! has been on a hiatus for two weeks. This week we started rehearsing our new Lecter (the wonderful Sean McDermott), who will be re-opening the show with us this weekend.

You know how when you’re doing a show, you know all the words and you don’t even need to think about it, but if you think back to a show you closed a month ago, or a year ago, you can barely remember how anything goes? Or you can kind of mumble your way to certain key words or ideas, but you can’t remember how a song starts? This is how my week has gone.

I have a script, but hardly ever look at it or keep it anywhere near the right page. Our rehearsals are very fast moving and involve a lot of shoving chairs, desks, props and rolling panels around for our new actor, while playing all the necessary characters that they interact with. Usually it’s just me and our dance captain, Howie Kaye, playing the role of “Everybody Else.” We often end up frequently playing the same part in a given scene if one of us knows it better, but a lot of times it’s just whoever gets there first for any given moment. The first time we ran the show today, I may have played Clarice in a given scene, the second time it might have been Howie, and I played somebody else. The show is so funny that often we mix it up because everyone wants to play every part. The necessary component for that to work is that we both have to know everyone’s lines.

It’s amazing how quickly that ability goes away when you’re away from the show. I must confess to being the most affected by this among myself, Howie and Brian, our musical director. To be fair they’ve been with the show for over seven years and I’ve been with it for less than six months, but I was still surprised how many times I would get two words into a scene and go totally blank.

Not totally blank, maybe. Something like, “Dr. Lecter… uh… didn’t he… you said he killed someone? He’s killed someone before? He’s uh, what do you call it, a first killer’s… fledgeling transformation. Shit. Anyone?”

I’m very happy to be back at work, though, and excited to be resuming rehearsal in a position where I generally know what the hell is going on in the show, which was not at all the case when I started this job and did my first couple of put-ins. This is our first Lecter since I’ve been with the company, so I’m kind of excited about that. It’s the easiest track to teach, and there haven’t really been any surprises. There are still a few roles left that I’ve never put in (which we’ll be covering in the coming weeks with our new male swing), so there are a few things that are still fuzzy and will soon be clear.

Including Lecter, we have to teach seven roles to get us fully prepared with new actors and understudies. I’m going to be in rehearsal for the rest of my life!