Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Theatre post for a change

Last night was the first blocking rehearsal for our production of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead. I hate blocking. I hate pre-blocking. I find it frequently an annoying exercise that somewhat disguises line rehearsals. Especially if your set isn't in place yet, which ours isn't, because our production of Torch Song Trilogy doesn't close until Saturday night.

For the non-theatre-geek, a blocking rehearsal is where the actors are told where to go and what to do when they get there. Usually not where to go and what to do with the horse they rode in on, but sometimes. Yes, all those brilliant moves across the stage and up and down staircases and platforms are planned, rehearsed, and someone has to come up with them. The Director. Me.

Except sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes, the Muses look fondly upon you and gift you actors with not only the ability to memorize phenomenal amounts of text, but incredible instincts for where to go and how to say those words as well.

This time, I got lucky. My three leads are doing great work at getting their lines memorized, and a lot of my blocking consists of letting them go places and staying out of the way while they explore the text. This is actually looking like a fun rehearsal process, and I went into it pretty amazingly panicked, as we have only 3 weeks of rehearsal before tech, which isn't really enough for a play this deep with only working 3 hours each night. But they're amazing. No really, they have such great instincts and comic timing that all I have to do is cut them loose, then fine-tune it. This might work out after all.

Now, I'm still concerned that the director of the other show in our rep series has told me that 5 gallons of stage blood may not get him through the 9-performance run...

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