Last week of rehearsals and techs
July 24, 2012
Week 5 and 6. Ok I'll do them both in an entry otherwise I'll never reach the opening night.
Week 5 was for rehearsals of the second act, since I'm not in it (sorry for the spoiler) I had plenty of time off. So it was my turn to try the tattoos and get a bold haircut. They shaved funny shapes into my skull so I started to get very weird looks on the streets.
By the end of the week we were ready to stumble through the second half, and the next days we did our final run troughs of the whole play in the rehearsal room. We finally got a sense of the whole play, and we were all really excited. Some members of the staff were there and actors from the other productions and they all seemed to like it. Of course there was still a lot of work and adjustments to be done, but we knew we had a good show in our hands.
Now comes the exciting part, TECHS. Oh, I was really not prepared for them. Of course every time you enter a theatre some adjustments have to be done, and you have to adapt to the scenery and the lights, but I didn't expect the changes to be so many.
Don't get me wrong it's not like we changed the whole play, but entrance and exits changed, the timing for entering each scene. Now that the play was running we noticed that there were parts that needed some more explaining. In order to get the rhythm right, some scenes needed a tweak here and there.
It was a slow process and at one point I was really scared that we wouldn't get a chance to do a dress rehearsal before our first preview. There was also the notion that once you had been over a scene you wouldn't have the time to look it over again.
Maybe I should explain that in Mexico we don't do previews, for us, once there is an audience, that's it, that is your opening night. We sometimes do one or two rehearsals with friends or drama students but it is not open to the general public, so it was quite hard for me to understand how you could open a show, but continue to work on it for the next week. But I'll talk some more about previews in the next entry.
The point is we managed to do a dress rehearsal before our first preview which was a relief.
The first preview was very exciting, it was our first opportunity to see how the audience would react. Would they understand it? Could they follow the story? Those were my main concerns.
And acting of course, one thing is to do rehearsals and to act in English in front of your peers, but now, the bar was raised, so I must say that in the first preview I was really worried and wanted to get everything right.
And so the curtain was raised (metaphorically speaking). It was exciting, there was a lot of raw energy and surprise. I have a few moments where I speak directly to the audience, and finally having them there, connecting with them, being at the Swan, was a complete joy. Of course it was nerve wracking, but in a good way. The performances had started.
by Andres Weiss
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