January 30, 2017–I don’t know how many people reading this have ever gone through technical rehearsals on a production, but we often refer to it as “tech week.” I am now writing after two days of tech, with our first preview on the horizon tomorrow. A very productive “tech weekend,” if I do say so myself.
This truncated amount of time always makes for an intense period. Two twelve-hour days of rehearsal, where we finally get in the space and add up all the pieces. Fifteen actors, three musicians, one dog, 30 minutes of dance, four acts, countless props, and sixty costumes. Somehow we made through it all and are ready to welcome our first audience into the space tomorrow.
I always laugh to myself at this point in our process. After having worked on this play at a leisurely pace for 17 months, we are thrown into the crucible of rehearsal and tech, where the heat is high, and the timeline unforgiving. It may sound odd, but I think this makes the production all the stronger. After a careful planning and molding of the structure, the piece is thrown into the kiln and comes out more beautiful than you could have imagined. The actors are able to let all that work slide into the subconscious and focus on the technical craft of telling a story.
As always, our design team has come ready to meet the efforts of the acting ensemble, and the room is doing truly beautiful work. Flower petals are traipsed throughout the theatre (I found one blocks away on Sunday), a beautiful cherrywood deck provides the playing space, lights travel across day and time, and the costumes have an extraordinary elegance that dance through it all. I spend so much time working with the acting ensemble that it is easy to forget how theatre is truly a collaborative form. We have so many different types of art joining together for this production, and tomorrow we add the final piece, the audience, to see what a beautiful union we can make.