Rehearsal Post #4 / by Keen Admin

Saturday September 26th, 2015

Set rendering from our Scenic Designer, Steven Kemp, featuring "The Monster"

Set rendering from our Scenic Designer, Steven Kemp, featuring "The Monster"

So much to catch up on. Moved into the theatre on Thursday and had 6 hours onstage for spacing before we officially begin tech. Our biggest set piece in the show is a very large movable piece that functions to define a lot of the various places we ‘travel’ in the play. We have all lovingly nicknamed it “The Monster” and it does live up to its name. When you are in rehearsals the stage managers find various things to ‘stand in’ for the real pieces so the actors get used to moving things when we need to move things. In rehearsal Kara and Joanna had taped two small skinny rolling coat racks together with duct tape for us to use as the Monster. Well, now that we have met the real Monster the reality of the size, shape and weight of it sinks it. Thanks to our set designer Steven it actually is a beautiful piece of scenery and moves pretty smoothly but, of course, for us it is a lot to get used to. Therefore, we were all thankful to have a few hours to get used to how it works and moves before we jump into tech. I don’t want to give away too much but I think the Keen audiences will be happily surprised by our set. It has a few tricks up its sleeves and many surprises along the Travels.

The designers table used for tech rehearsals

The designers table used for tech rehearsals

Yesterday we started our 10 out of 12 rehearsals. Started at the top and work through every moment in detail to bring all the elements together- set, lights, sound, props, costumes…. all the things we’ve been imagining in the rehearsal room for 3 weeks and now it is all real. The various technical departments sit at makeshift tables in the house (with the set designer and the director continually moving and bopping all over the place) to make all the various elements come together seamlessly. A big job. It is always slow going with a lot of standing around but in this case we, the actors, are grateful for the extra time. Not only because Rory joined us so late but also because the particular intricacies of this play make it challenging for us as actors. The play jumps from place to place with Tom, Dan and I constantly switching between playing Henry, narrating the action and playing the various other roles. So, thanks to Nick, our assistant director, any time there is a lull while the technical aspects are being worked out we run lines, scenes, movements, etc..

This one is a bit of a nail biter as there are so many aspects that have to sync up. We have one more 10 out of 12 today and then we are off tomorrow. Then Monday we come in for 5 more hours of tech rehearsal followed by our final dress rehearsal. Then Wednesday evening is our first preview. Gulp! This may be one of those shows where we don’t actually get to run it thru without stopping until our first preview. A somewhat terrifying thought but in many ways that is what previews are supposed to be about. An audience gets to see a work still being formed before their eyes. Plus, of course the audience is the last and the most important element of the play and one we all look forward to and never feel we are ready for. Even just writing about it gives me a bit of a twinge of excitement and terror in my stomach. Thankful that we have two full weeks of previews to refine and define our play.

Okay, off to the races. More to follow.

Ciao for now,
Jay