I love tech, when all the hard work comes together, and all the individual bits and pieces become a piece of living art.
This show has taken a long time to get to this point. From the day I initially accepted the assignment to direct School House Rock! to my fears because this would be the first musical I ever directed. From my watching and re-watching the videos, to my brainstorming how to make this show come to life in a new and interesting way. What is normally a six-week rehearsal process, became a process that seemed interminable, extended by snow days and the evil confrontation with a softball coach from hell. While tonight should have been opening night it is, instead, the beginning of technical rehearsals, and a long weekend.
But that’s okay. I love tech. And, the additional week means that the show is going to be that much better.
Of course, I’ve also had to deal with: actors quitting early on, actors quitting after 3 weeks of rehearsal, no theater major willing to stage manage, a stage manager who does not have a clue, the unexpected early departure of my softball players (so that the team could go shopping, see a movie, and waste more money on a hotel rather than leave early this morning), a performer who is down for the count this week because of severe migraines and vomiting, and a choreographer who was overextended.
But you know what, the show is going to be great! And, as I sat in the darkened theater yesterday watching the magic of lights build, I felt good about it. As I watched half of my cast put on an incredible performance during rehearsal last night, despite the missing people, I felt really good. As I watched the wonderful puppets that Nathan created (because I wanted puppets in this show) come to life, I felt great! As I listened to the powerful voices of my cast, I felt enriched.
One more week. The show opens next Friday. Look for production photos in a post next week!
But, as a teaser, here are is a preview of a puppet as it was being built. Virtual bonus points for the reader who guesses which song uses a rhinoceros puppet!